Disadvantage linked to experiences of assault


Experiences of physical assault in 2018-19 were higher for unemployed people and those living in areas of greater socio-economic disadvantage, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Results from the 2018-19 Crime Victimisation Survey showed that unemployed people were more than twice as likely to experience physical assault as employed people (6.2 per cent compared with 2.4 per cent).

“According to the survey, 3.6 per cent of people living in the most disadvantaged socio-economic areas experienced physical assault, compared to 1.3 per cent of people living in the most advantaged areas,” said William Milne, Director of the ABS’ National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics.

The national physical assault victimisation rate for all persons aged 15 years and over remained steady at 2.4 per cent between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Men and women reported their most recent incident of physical assault to police at similar rates, with about half reporting (51 per cent and 54 per cent respectively). However, the main reasons for not reporting the incident to police differed between men and women.

“The most common reasons why men did not report their most recent incident of physical assault to police were feeling it was too trivial or unimportant, and regarding it as a personal matter. For women, the most common reasons were telling somebody else instead, and thinking that the police would be unwilling or unable to do anything,” added Mr Milne.

The Crime Victimisation publication provides information about people’s experiences for a selected range of personal and household crimes, including the socio-demographic characteristics of people experiencing the offences, whether the most recent incident was reported to police, and other characteristics of the most recent incident.

Further information can be found in Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2018-19 (cat. no. 4530.0).

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).

Subscribe to the ABS email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.

Back to top of the page