One in five women experience sexual violence

Tara Cosoleto |

One in five Australian women have experienced sexual violence and stalking in their lifetime, new data shows.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest personal safety report, released on Wednesday, stated an estimated eight million Australians have experienced violence since the age of 15.

About 22 per cent of women have been exposed to sexual violence, with one in four experiencing it at the hands of an intimate partner or family member.

For men, about 42 per cent reported experiencing physical violence since the age of 15 while 6.1 per cent have been exposed to sexual violence.

Men were more likely than women to experience violence by a stranger (30 per cent compared to 11 per cent), while 35 per cent of women have encountered violence by someone they know.

An estimated 2.7 million Australians adults have experienced stalking, with the same number of people reporting abuse at the hands of an adult before they turned 15.

One in six women witnessed parental violence during childhood, with about 14 per cent witnessing violence towards their mother.

Eleven per cent of men saw their parent experience violence but it was still more common to see violence perpetrated against their mother than their father (8.9 per cent compared to 3.7 per cent). 

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