4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2019   
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PHYSICAL ASSAULT

WHO EXPERIENCED PHYSICAL ASSAULT IN 2017–18? (Table 13)

During the 2017–18 reference period, an estimated 2.4% (472,500) of persons aged 15 years and over experienced physical assault in Australia. A similar proportion of men (2.4% or 226,700) and women (2.5% or 244,900) experienced physical assault during this period.

AGE

Across the age groups, the physical assault victimisation rate varied. The victimisation rate was 3.0% for 15 to 24 year olds and 0.7% for persons aged 65 years and over. Those aged 55 years and over were significantly less likely than all other age groups to experience physical assault in the past 12 months.

VICTIMISATION RATES, Physical assault by age, 2017–18
Graph Image for VICTIMISATION RATES, Physical assault by age, 2017–18
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Commonwealth of Australia 2019.

OTHER SELECTED SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

The following groups were more likely to experience physical assault in the last 12 months:

  • persons born in Australia (2.8%) compared to persons born overseas (1.6%)
  • unemployed persons (5.3%) compared to employed persons (2.4%)
  • persons living in an area in the lowest quintile of the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (3.4%) compared to persons living in the highest quintile (1.9%).Endnote 1

The physical assault victimisation rate was similar for the following groups:
  • persons with a non-school qualification (2.5%) compared to persons with no non-school qualification (2.3%)
  • persons living in a capital city (2.4%) compared to persons living in the balance of state/territory (2.5%).

EXPERIENCE OF MULTIPLE VICTIMISATION (Table 9)

Of all persons who experienced physical assault during the 2017–18 reference period:
  • 47% (223,500) experienced a single incident
  • 22% (105,900) experienced two incidents
  • 29% (137,400) experienced three or more incidents.

A similar proportion of women (45% or 109,200) and men (51% or 114,700) who experienced physical assault experienced a single incident.

WHETHER MOST RECENT INCIDENT WAS REPORTED TO POLICE (Table 14)

An estimated 52% of persons who experienced physical assault had their most recent incident reported to police. The proportion was the same for women and men (both 52%).

For men, common reasons why the most recent incident of physical assault was not reported to police were that they felt it was too trivial/unimportant (13%) or that they thought police would be unwilling or unable to do anything (13%). For women, it was commonly because they felt it to be a personal matter (9%) or thought that police would be unwilling or unable to do anything (9%).

OTHER SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF MOST RECENT INCIDENT (Table 14)

In the most recent incident of physical assault experienced by women:
  • the perpetrator was most commonly a male (71%)
  • the perpetrator was more commonly someone known to the woman (73%) than a stranger (27%)
  • the known perpetrator was most frequently an intimate partner (28%)
  • the location was most frequently the woman's home (46%).

In the most recent incident of physical assault experienced by men:
  • the perpetrator was most commonly a male (84%)
  • the perpetrator was a stranger in more than half of incidents (56%)
  • common locations where the incident occurred included work (24%) and in the person's home (21%).

ENDNOTES

Endnote 1 The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage ranks areas on a continuum from most disadvantaged to most advantaged. Lower quintiles indicate greater levels of disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general compared to higher quintiles. For further information, see Explanatory Notes.