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Domestic and sexual violence in Australia reveals alarming figures

Photo: Partner violence rates holding steady
A new report into domestic and sexual violence in Australia reveals alarming figures, proving many women remain at risk of being abused by their partners.

Damning new data about Australia's rates of domestic and sexual violence reveal that one in six females experience abuse before they are 15 and one woman is killed by her partner every nine days.

Based on national population surveys and set against a backdrop of declines in overall violence, rates of partner violence and sexual violence have remained relatively stable since 2005, a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows.

"Family, domestic and sexual violence can take many forms, including physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, or attempts to control another person's behaviour," institute spokeswoman Louise York said on Wednesday.
"Between 2014/15 and 2016/17, the rate of hospitalisation of women assaulted by a spouse or partner has risen by 23 per cent, from 31 to 38 hospitalisations per 100,000 population."

Minority groups including people with a disability, the elderly and gender diverse were more likely to have been the victim of abuse, ranging from physical and sexual violence to emotional abuse and sexual harassment.

Children also featured in the latest round of statistics.

"The impacts of family, domestic and sexual violence on children and adolescents can be long-lasting, affecting their health, wellbeing, education, relationships and housing outcomes," Ms York added.

The report also found that the number of people accessing services due to family, domestic and sexual violence continues to rise.

FAMILY, SEXUAL, DOMESTIC AND VIOLENCE FINDINGS:

CHILDREN

* One in six girls and one in nine boys suffer physical or sexual abuse before the age of 15

WOMEN

* 53 per cent of police-recorded female sexual assault victims in 2017 were aged 15 to 34

* On average, one woman was killed every nine days by a partner between July 2014 and June 2016

* 23 per cent of women living outside major cities experienced violence from a partner, compared with 15 per cent of women in major cities

MEN

* On average, one man was killed every 29 days by a partner between July 2014 and June 2016

MINORITY GROUPS:

* More than 10,900 calls were made to elder abuse hotlines across Australia in 2017/18. The calls were more commonly related to financial or emotional abuse

* People with a disability were 1.8 times as likely to experience partner violence in the previous 12 months

* Indigenous people were 32 times more likely to be hospitalised for family violence

* People with diverse sexual orientations and gender diversities are more likely to experience workplace sexual harassment

SEXUAL ASSAULT

* Police recorded 25,000 sexual assault victims in 2017 - the highest number since this information was first collected (eight per cent more than in 2016)

STALKING

* One in six women and one in 15 men have experienced stalking

HARASSMENT

* One in two women and about one in four men have experienced sexual harassment.

Source: AIHW

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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