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National Sexual Assault Victim Numbers Highest In Seven Years: ABS

More than 8,000 victims of family violence were victims of sexual assault.

06/07/2017 3:57 PM AEST | Updated 06/07/2017 3:58 PM AEST
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Overall, female victims around the country formed the bulk of Family and Domestic Violence-related crimes.

The number of sexual assault victims nationally rose to their highest point in seven years in 2016 according to new crime figures released by the the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday.

During 2016, 23,052 victims of sexual assault were recorded around the country, up from 21,948 in 2015. The increase also marks the fifth consecutive year in which recorded sexual assaults rose nationally, with Tasmania and Victoria recording the biggest jumps for individual states.

And the numbers don't stop there.

The ABS' figures also detailed national numbers of victims of family and domestic violence (FDV) in relation to crimes such as assault and homicide -- and overall, women around the country formed the bulk of FDV-related victim numbers.

The national statistics body found that last year 8,210 FDV victims experienced sexual assault, representing a six percent increase from 2015. Eighty-five percent of those attacks were suffered by female victims, with women aged between 20 and 24 being 12-times as likely as males to experience FDV-related sexual assault.

On top of that, the ABS also found that two of every five assault victims came as a result of FDV, with most aged between 25 and 34. Females victims were more likely to experience FDV-related assault than males, which was at least three-times as likely if the attack was initiated by someone they were in an intimate relationship with.

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And when it came to acts of homicide, the picture was much the same.

According to the figures, 176 people fell victim to FDV-related homicide crimes in 2016, 68 percent of which included the use of a weapon and more than half included a female victim. For murder, 42 percent of recorded crimes were FDV-related and 65 percent of victims were female.

The problem of family and domestic violence in Australia has blown out to the extent that it causes one woman each week in Australia to lose their life, according to Our Watch, and has affected at least one in three women nationally.

Thursday's figures also come more than a year after key players in the Australian domestic and family violence sector came together at the inaugural National Family Violence Summit to focus on creating a real solution to emotional and physical brutality in the home.

If you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger, call 000. For sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service call 1800 RESPECT (1800737732). 24/7 phone and online services. Visit Our Watch for more information.

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