A quarter of sexual assaults occurred over a year ago

Media Release

More than a quarter of sexual assaults recorded by police were reported a year or more after the incident occurred, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics, William Milne, said “Of the 26,892 victims of sexual assault recorded by police in 2019, over a quarter (27 per cent) were reporting incidents that occurred over a year ago, compared with less than 10 per cent of victims for other offence types.”

There were five times as many female victims of sexual assault (22,337) than male victims in 2019 (4,378).

“For females, about three out of four sexual assaults (75 per cent) were recorded by police within one year of the incident. For males, about two thirds of sexual assaults were recorded within one year (64 per cent).”

Of all the victims of sexual assault reported to police in 2019, 44 per cent (11,767) were aged under 15 at the time of the incident.

One third of all sexual assaults reported to police were family and domestic violence related in 2019 (8,985 victims), 40 per cent of these victims were reporting incidents that occurred over a year ago.

Further information can be found in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2019 (cat. no. 4510.0) available for free download from the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au.

If you or anyone you know is in need or crisis please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline 131 114.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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