Sex Assaults Hit Six-Year High And Teenagers Most At Risk

New sex crime stats are a big worry for the nation.

13/07/2016 1:09 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:57 PM AEST

The number of reported sexual assaults in Australia has jumped to a six-year high.

The alarming Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released on Tuesday show there were 21,380 victims of sexual assault recorded by police in 2015 -- the highest number since new records began in 2010.

The latest figures also represent a 3 percent surge from the 20,739 sexual assault recorded in 2014, the ABS said.

The ABS' William Milne said the fresh data also showed the vast majority of sexual assault victims were women, with teenagers especially at risk.

"Females aged between 15 and 19 years were seven times more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault compared to the overall population," Milne said.

Most sexual assaults took place at residential locations and did not involve the use of a weapon, the ABS stats also revealed.

The official data also gives a widow into the interaction between sexual assault and domestic and family violence.

It shows 7,464 sexual assaults -- 33 percent of all sexual assaults in Australia in 2015 -- took place within a family or domestic relationship.

The situation was even worse on homicides, with more than a third of the 158 killings reported in 2015 related to family and domestic violence.

The worrying data comes as Australia grapples with the issue of family and domestic violence -- a phenomenon that's been labelled a "national crisis".

In May, theCoalition pledged $100 million in the federal budget as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children and the cash will fund it for the next three years, including allocating money for men's behaviour change programs.

There is also Commonwealth money to trial GPS trackers on perpetrators, funding for specialised training for frontline police and doctors and cash for Community Legal Aid centres.

More on the government response to the issue can be read here.

The issue was catapulted into the national conversation after family violence campaigner Rosie Batty was named Australian of the Year for 2015.

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