ABS' Personal Safety Survey finds 1 in 5 women experience sexual violence since the age of 15

The ABS released the results of the Personal Safety Survey, which found that an alarming number of women in our community are reporting sexual violence, and even more are experiencing it but not reporting for a variety of reasons. 

Abigail gave notice of the following motion:

(1) That this House notes that:

(a) the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Tranche 2 of the Personal Safety Survey in August 2023, which found that:

(i) one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15,

(ii) women with disability, university aged women, single mothers, LGBTQIA+ people and people experiencing financial stress were at highest risk of physical and sexual violence,

(iii) approximately 2 million women have experienced sexual violence by a man they knew and around 600,000 women have experienced sexual violence by a male stranger, with these figures demonstrating that there are a huge number of assaults that are going unreported,

(iv) perpetrators of physical and sexual assaults against women were most often an intimate partner and the violence most often happened at home, with 63 per cent of women physically assaulted by an intimate partner, 53 per cent of women sexually assaulted by an intimate partner, 70 per cent of physical assaults occurring at home and 69 per cent of sexual assaults occurring at home,

(v) in all three categories of physical violence, sexual violence and sexual harassment, young women between ages 18 and 24 years old experienced the highest rates of violence,

(vi) women were more likely to seek support from an informal source (46 per cent) such as a friend or family than a formal source (27 per cent),

(vii) women who experienced sexual assault by a male and did not contact the police listed reasons including that they felt ashamed or embarrassed, they did not think there was anything the police could do, they felt they would not be believed, they felt they could deal with it themselves, they did not regard the incident as a serious offence, they were fearful of the person responsible, they lacked trust in the police,
or they had a fear of legal processes and cultural or language reasons, and

(b) according to the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) chief executive, the results of the survey are deeply concerning, but not surprising.

(2) That this House calls upon the Government, following their notable underspend on the gendered violence sector in the 2023-2024 Budget, to act urgently to prioritise legislation and initiatives that end this growing crisis.

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