4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/02/2018   
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For this survey, sexual assault is defined as an act of a sexual nature carried out against a person's will or without a person's consent. It involves physical contact and/or the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion. Refer to the glossary page for the full definition of sexual assault. Sexual assault excludes sexual harassment that did not involve or lead to an actual assault.

For this survey, only people aged 18 years and over were asked the questions about sexual assault. Characteristics of the most recent incident (e.g. location) were not asked about for this crime type, apart from whether the most recent incident was reported to police.

Due to the relatively small numbers of persons experiencing sexual assault, it is not possible to provide the same level of detailed information for sexual assault as other types of personal crime.


During the 12 months prior to interview, 0.4% of Australians aged 18 years and over (80,200) experienced sexual assault. This includes:

  • 0.7% of females (65,400)
  • 1.4% of persons aged 18-24 years (30,900)

REPORTING RATE Endnote2 (Table 1)

Just over one-third of all persons who experienced sexual assault (39% or 31,300) had their most recent incident reported to police.


Endnote 1 All comparisons discussed have been tested for statistical significance with a 95% level of confidence that there is a real difference in the two populations being tested. Only data with a relative standard error (RSE) of less than 25% are referred to in the text of this publication and these estimates are considered sufficiently reliable for general use. To determine whether there is a statistical difference between any other two estimates, significance testing should be undertaken. For further information, refer to the Technical Note.

Endnote 2 As information is only collected in relation to the most recent incident, the findings are not necessarily representative of all incidents experienced by persons in the last 12 months prior to interview (see Technical Note).