4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2016  
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PREVALENCE OF VIOLENCE OVER TIME

The PSS has previously been conducted in 2012 and 2005. For more information on comparability of prevalence of violence data over time, refer to the Violence - Prevalence page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).

Changes between 2005 and 2016

The proportion of Australians experiencing violence in the 12 months prior to interview has declined over the last decade, decreasing from 8.3% in 2005 to 5.4% in 2016. This decline was driven by a drop in experiences of physical violence, falling from 7.5% in 2005 to 4.5% in 2016.

For men, the proportion experiencing physical violence in the last 12 months has almost halved since 2005, decreasing from 10% in 2005 to 5.4% in 2016. For women, the proportion has fallen from 4.7% in 2005 to 3.5% in 2016.

Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of Australians experiencing sexual violence in the last 12 months has remained steady. In 2005, an estimated 1.6% of women experienced sexual violence, compared to 1.8% in 2016. For men, the proportion experiencing sexual violence over this time period was also steady (0.6% in 2005 compared to 0.7% in 2016).

Refer to Table 2.

Changes between 2012 and 2016

Between 2012 and 2016, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of men who experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview. In 2012, an estimated 8.7% of men experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview, compared to 6% in 2016. This decrease was driven by a decline in the proportion of men who experienced physical violence, from 8.5% in 2012 to 5.4% in 2016. The proportion of men who experienced sexual violence was steady over the same time period (0.5% in 2012 compared to 0.7% in 2016). Refer to Table 2.

Graph Image for MEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Type(s) of violence experienced in the last 12 months, 2005 to 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Includes physical assault and/or physical threat. (b) Includes sexual assault and/or sexual threat. (c) Includes physical violence and/or sexual violence. (d) People may have experienced multiple types of violence. Components therefore may not add to the totals.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016



Between 2012 and 2016 the proportion of women who experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview remained steady. In 2012, an estimated 5.3% of women experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to 4.7% in 2016.

For physical violence, the proportion of women fell from 4.6% in 2012 to 3.5% in 2016. Between 2012 and 2016 there was an increase in the proportion of women who experienced sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. In 2012, an estimated 1.2% of women experienced sexual violence, compared to 1.8% in 2016.

Graph Image for WOMEN AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER, Type of violence experienced in the last 12 months, 2005 to 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Includes physical assault and/or physical threat. (b) Includes sexual assault and/or sexual threat. (c) Includes physical violence and/or sexual violence. (d) People may have experienced multiple types of violence. Components therefore may not add to the totals.

Source(s): Personal Safety Survey, 2016