4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2016   
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13 July 2016
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Reports of sexual assault reach six-year high

Reports of sexual assault have reached a six-year high on the back of a three per cent rise since last year, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

William Milne from the ABS said that the Recorded Crime - Victims publication revealed that “there were 21,380 victims of sexual assault recorded by police during 2015.

"This was an increase of three per cent on the previous year, and the highest number of sexual assault reports we’ve seen in six years," said Mr Milne.

“Nationally, over four in five sexual assault victims were female.

"Females aged between 15 and 19 years were seven times more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault compared to the overall population.”

Most sexual assaults had occurred at a residential location and did not involve the use of a weapon.

Reported homicides decreased by two per cent nationally in 2015; from 421 to 413 victims.

“This is the fourth consecutive year in which reports of homicide and related offences have fallen,” said Mr Milne.

Between 2014 and 2015, use of a firearm in the commission of a homicide decreased by 24 per cent nationally (from 75 to 57 victims) whilst, those involving another weapon type did not change over the same period.

More than three in five homicide victims were male.

This Recorded Crime – Victims release also includes experimental data about victims of family and domestic violence (FDV) – related offences, which reveal that over a third of all sexual assault victims in 2015 experienced victimisation within a family or domestic relationship (7,464). Similarly, more than a third of all homicides recorded by police in 2015 were FDV-related (158).

For both sexual assault and homicide, the majority of FDV-related victims were female (84 per cent and 65 per cent respectively).

Further information can be found in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 4510.0) available for free download from the ABS website: https://abs.gov.au/.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.
  • This publication presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of personal and property offences that have been recorded by police during 2015.
  • The 2015 publication marks the sixth year of a new time series following a break in series for the collection in the 2010 publication, and comparisons should not be made to data published prior to the 2010 publication.
  • A victim for the purposes of this publication is defined by the type of offence committed. This can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. While the definition includes non-person victims, victimisation rates are only presented for person victims.
  • For the purposes of this publication victims of selected offences have been determined to be family and domestic violence – related where the relationship of offender to victim, as stored on police recording systems, falls within a specified family or domestic relationship, or where an FDV related flag has been recorded, following a police investigation. A specified family and domestic relationship may include (but is not limited to) partner, ex-partner, parent, or other family member.
  • Data on FDV related offences has been labelled as experimental as this is the first time the ABS has produced this data using this methodology and it is subject to further evaluation. Caution should be taken when interpreting the results.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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