Sexual violence statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) found that one in five women and one in twenty men had been sexually assaulted or threatened since the age of 15. The PSS also estimates that 87% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police, so the real numbers are likely to be much higher.

In Queensland in 2017-18, sexual offences accounted for 16% of all crimes reported by the Queensland Police Service, with 96% of perpetrators identified as male. In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that reported victims of sexual assault in Queensland rose for the seventh consecutive year. 85% of all victims of sexual offences were female, 72% of victims knew the perpetrator, and 68% of reported sexual assaults occurred in residential locations, often the victim's home.

Although attitudes towards sexual violence are improving, the National Community Attitudes to Violence against Women Survey–undertaken every 4 years–shows that our society still has some concerning beliefs:

  • Up to 15% of people think it’s justified for a man to force a woman to have sex if she kisses him first.
  • 1 in 10 people think that if a woman falls asleep during sex, it’s understandable if a man keeps having sex with her anyway.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 people believe that if a woman sends a nude image to her partner, she is partially responsible if he shares it without permission.
  • 42% of Australians think it’s common for sexual assault accusations to be used as a way of getting back at men.

The Queensland Government strongly believes that sexual violence is a violation of human rights and is unacceptable. We are committed to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual violence in our communities.