Rate of sexual assault highest in 31 years

Woman upset in bedroom. | Newsreel
The rate of sexual assault in Australia is the highest ever recorded. | Photo: Amenic (iStock)

More than 36,000 Australians were sexually assaulted last year, with the rate of assaults the highest in 31 years.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows the number of sexual assaults recorded by police rose by 11 percent in 2023, the 12th straight annual rise.

ABS Head of Crime and Justice statistics Samantha McNally said there were 36,318 victim-survivors of sexual assault recorded, 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,” Ms McNally said.

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

Ms McNally said the majority of sexual assault victim-survivors were female (84 percent), with the most common age group between 10 and 17 years (41 percent).

She said more than two in three sexual assaults took place in a residential location, with 69 percent of assaults reported to police within a year.

“Family and domestic violence-related sexual assaults made up almost two in five of all sexual assaults reported to police.”

Read the full report.

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.