Recorded sexual assaults reach 31-year high

Media Release

The number of victim-survivors of sexual assault recorded by police rose by 11 per cent in 2023, the 12th straight annual rise, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Samantha McNally, ABS head of crime and justice statistics, said: “There were 36,318 victim-survivors of sexual assault recorded by police in 2023, with increases across almost all states and territories. 

“Accounting for population growth, the rate of recorded sexual assault victim-survivors has gone up from 126 per 100,000 people last year, to 136 victim-survivors per 100,000 people. 

“This is the highest rate of sexual assault victim-survivors recorded in our 31-year dataset.”

The majority of sexual assault victim-survivors were female (84 per cent). The most common age group was between 10 and 17 years at the date of the incident (41 per cent).

More than two in three (69 per cent) sexual assaults took place in a residential location. Most sexual assaults (69 per cent) were reported to police within a year. 

Family and domestic violence-related sexual assaults made up almost two in five (39 per cent) of all sexual assaults reported to police (14,059 victim-survivors).

More information can be found in Recorded Crime – Victims available as a free download from the ABS website. 

Media notes

  • If you or anyone you know is in need or crisis please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline 131 114. 
  • For the purposes of this release, a specified family or domestic relationship includes partner, ex-partner, parent, other family member (e.g. child, sibling) and non-family members (e.g. carer, guardian).
  • 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 via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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