Almost a quarter of Australians have inflicted some sort of SV since turning 18: report


ABC & Australian Institute of Criminology, 10th July 2024

More than one in five Australians have admitted to inflicting acts of sexual violence since the age of 18, in shocking figures released by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC).

A survey of 5,000 anonymous Australians aged between 18 and 45 has revealed almost 10 per cent had perpetrated sexual violence in the past 12 months.

The age range was picked by researchers to understand the influence of pornography on sexual violence, with participants picked who “were likely to have had easy access to the internet during their teenage and early adult years”.

The findings of the study come as the nation grapples with surging levels of family and domestic violence, and a conversation about healthy relationships and attitudes towards sex across the country.

This study examines the rate of sexual violence perpetration in a community sample of adult Australians. Data were collected through a survey of a proportional quota-based sample of 5,076 Australian residents aged 18–45 years.

Just over one in five respondents (22.1%, n=1,124) had perpetrated one or more of the forms of sexual violence examined since turning 18 years of age, and one in 10 (9.9%, n=504) had done so in the past 12 months. Men were significantly more likely than women to have perpetrated any and each form of sexual violence examined, and to have perpetrated multiple forms of sexual violence.

Findings address the pressing need for estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence perpetration in Australia, which are critical to efforts to address it.

By J Pope

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