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Sexual violence

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Sexual violence can take many forms, including assault, abuse and harassment. Experiences vary across population groups and in different settings, and there can be long-term physical, psychological, financial, legal, and spiritual consequences for individuals and communities.

One way to understand sexual violence is as an abuse of power, most often perpetrated by men against women, children, young people and other men. The impact of sexual violence can be compounded by negative attitudes pertaining to sex, race, age, culture and religion, as well as by inequalities stemming from class, geographic location, language or ability. Attitudes, beliefs, laws and social structures that allow or support inequalities contribute to the ongoing problem of sexual violence in society (NASASV 2021).

This page discusses what is currently known about sexual violence in Australia, the contexts in which it occurs and how it varies across population groups.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a broad term, often used to encompass a wide range of behaviours. The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 defines sexual violence as sexual activity that happens where consent is not freely given or obtained, is withdrawn or the person is unable to consent due to their age or other factors. Sexual violence occurs any time a person is forced, coerced or manipulated into any sexual activity. Such activity can be sexualised touching, sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment and intimidation, and forced or coerced watching or engaging in pornography. Sexual violence can be non-physical and include unwanted sexualised comments, intrusive sexualised questions or harassment of a sexual nature. Forms of modern slavery, such as forced marriage, servitude or trafficking in persons may involve sexual violence (DSS 2022).

Definitions of sexual violence vary according to different legislation and practices. Operational definitions used in a service context may differ from those used for research or data collection.

The AIHW’s reporting uses several terms based on known definitions and available data with key definitions drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey (PSS) (Box 1).

Sexual violence can occur in a family and domestic violence context, when it is perpetrated by a current or previous partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or other dating relationships, a parent, sibling or other family member. Sexual violence can occur as part of coercive control, where perpetrators exert power and dominance over others using patterns of abusive behaviours over time, to create fear and deny liberty and autonomy. Sexual violence can also be perpetrated by strangers, acquaintances, neighbours, friends or housemates, and it can occur in isolation or repeatedly.

Consent

How we define consent affects how we define sexual violence. Consent can be broadly defined as a person freely and voluntarily agreeing to participate in an interaction. Consent must be ‘informed’, this refers to the need for a person to understand what they are consenting to, with nothing preventing them from providing their consent or changing their mind. See Consent for more information about current attitudes towards consent and the work underway to provide education about consent in Australia.

What do we know?

Sexual violence can occur within intimate partner relationships and outside of these relationships. The consequences of sexual violence are wide ranging. Victim-survivors can experience immediate or long-term physical and mental health problems, which can negatively impact employment, economic wellbeing, ability to return to school, coping, personal relationships and sense of normalcy (CDC 2022). For more information about the long-term impacts, see Health outcomes and Domestic homicide.

While any individual can perpetrate sexual violence, there are some factors associated with a greater likelihood of perpetration. These include individual factors (such as alcohol and drug use), relationship factors (such as family history of violence), community factors (such as socioeconomic disadvantage) and society factors (such as attitudes that support or minimise sexual violence) (CDC 2022). Factors associated with violence perpetration do not necessarily cause violence. These are discussed further in Factors associated with FDSV.

What data are available to report on sexual violence?

Data about the prevalence of sexual violence come primarily from national surveys. Some administrative data are available to report on the responses to sexual violence, however, these data are likely to underrepresent the problem as the majority of victim-survivors do not report their experiences of sexual violence to services providers.

What do the data tell us?

Data from the 2021–22 PSS can be used to report on the number of people who have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Sexual violence in the PSS includes sexual assault or threat.

How many people have experienced sexual violence?

  • 14%

    of people aged 18 years and over in 2021–22 had experienced sexual violence since the age of 15

    Source: ABS Personal Safety Survey

Based on the 2021–22 PSS, 14% (2.8 million) of people aged 18 years and over have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. A higher proportion of women have experienced sexual violence compared with men:

  • over 1 in 5 (22% or 2.2 million) women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • 1 in 16 (6.1% or 582,400) men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 (ABS 2023a).

Who are the perpetrators of sexual violence?

For people who had experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, the perpetrator was more commonly male than female – 13% (2.5 million) of people had experienced violence by a male perpetrator, 1.8% (353,000) by a female perpetrator.

Women were 31 times as likely to experience sexual violence by a male than a female (22% of women experienced sexual violence by a male perpetrator compared with 0.7% by a female perpetrator) (ABS 2023a).

For women, the male perpetrators were more likely to be known persons than strangers – 20% (2.0 million) of women aged 18 years and over have experienced sexual violence by a male perpetrator who was a known person, compared with 6.1% (605,000) who experienced sexual violence by a stranger (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Proportion of women who have experienced sexual violence by relationship to male perpetrator, 2021–22

Source: ABS PSS 2021-22 | Data source overview

Known persons cover a range of relationships:

  • 11% (1.1 million) of women have experienced sexual violence by a male intimate partner (6.1% from a cohabiting partner, 6.3% from a boyfriend or date)
  • 5.0% (497,000) of women have experienced sexual violence by a male acquaintance or neighbour
  • 4.9% (489,000) of women have experienced sexual violence by a male friend or housemate (ABS 2023a).

Around 203,000 (2.1%) women have experienced sexual violence by a male family member who was either a father, a son, a brother, other relative or in-law (ABS 2023a). For more information about family violence, see Family and domestic violence.

Data for men about the relationship to perpetrators of sexual violence are not available.

Child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere, including within families, by other people the child or young person knows or does not know, in organisations and online. The risk factors, responses and long-term impacts can be different to those commonly reported for sexual violence. Information about child sexual abuse is reported separately in Child sexual abuse.

Concerning and harmful sexual behaviours displayed by children and young people

Some children and young people display concerning sexual behaviours (CSBs) or harmful sexual behaviours (HSBs). CSBs and HSBs involve sexual behaviours displayed by children and young people that fall outside what may be considered developmentally expected or socially appropriate. CSBs and HSBs can occur in any setting, including in person and online.

There are some differences between CSBs and HSBs and how they are identified, and work is currently underway to define these terms and develop a consistent understanding. Enhancing national approaches to HSBs is a key theme under the First National Action Plan of the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021–2030.

As with Adolescent Family Violence (see Family and domestic violence), adverse experiences in childhood have been identified in cohorts of children and young people who have displayed HSBs, with associations between displays of HSBs and trauma, prior experiences of abuse, and exposure to FDV and pornography. More information is reported separately in Child sexual abuse.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when a person has experienced or been subjected to behaviours that make them feel uncomfortable and were offensive due to their sexual nature (ABS 2023b). It includes a range of behaviours aimed at demeaning an individual and exercising power and control over them. Sexual harassment can be seen as part of the continuum of sexual violence, underpinned by the same social and cultural attitudes. Interventions that challenge these cultural and social norms may help to reduce and prevent violent behaviours (WHO 2010).

Data on sexual harassment are available from the 2016 PSS, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) National Workplace Sexual Harassment Survey, and the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (Box 3).

How many people have experienced sexual harassment?

Based on the 2016 PSS, 1 in 2 (53% or 5 million) women and 1 in 4 (25% or 2.2 million) men have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15.

Of those who have experienced sexual harassment:

  • about 3 in 5 (62%, or over 3 million) women and 1 in 2 (46%, or over 1 million) men had been subjected to inappropriate comments about their body or sex life
  • more than half of women (57%, or 2.8 million) and men (51%, or 1.1 million) experienced unwanted touching, grabbing, kissing or fondling (ABS 2017c).

Data on sexual harassment since the age of 15 is from the 2016 PSS. The 2021–22 PSS only collected data for experiences of sexual harassment in the last 12 months.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including lower job satisfaction, lower organisational commitment, and poorer physical and mental health (Willness et al. 2007).

Data from the AHRC National Survey on Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces are available to report on the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment. The survey has a sample size of 10,200 people aged 15 and over and is representative of the Australian population in terms of age, sex and where they lived.

The survey found that:

  • 1 in 5 (19%) people were sexually harassed at work in the 12 months prior to the survey
  • 1 in 3 (33%) people had experienced sexual harassment at work in the 5 years prior to the survey (41% of women and 26% of men) (AHRC 2022).

The majority (77%) of workplace sexual harassment was perpetrated by men. Of those who experienced workplace sexual harassment in the last 5 years:

  • 91% of women and 55% of men were harassed by men
  • 9% of women and 44% of men were harassed by women (AHRC 2022).

For both women and men, the perpetrator was most likely to be a co-worker at the same level (23% and 27% respectively). Sexually suggestive comments or jokes were the most common form of sexual harassment – 2 in 5 (40%) women and more than 1 in 10 (14%) men experienced these behaviours in the 5 years preceding the survey.

Overall, 50% of people harassed said that the most recent incident of workplace sexual harassment was a one-off experience. However, the other 50% said the same form of sexual harassment had occurred on more than one occasion. Fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) people made a formal report or complaint about sexual harassment at work (AHRC 2022).

More information about specific incidents, including the actions taken by victim-survivors or workplaces following the harassment can be found in Time for respect: Fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

Sexual violence in Australian universities

Data about sexual harassment and sexual assault at Australian Universities are available from the National Student Safety Survey. The NSSS was undertaken online from 6 September 2021 to 3 October 2021 with students from 38 Universities Australia member institutions. The in-scope population for the survey was students studying at Australian universities aged 18 years and over. A total of 43,800 students participated voluntarily in the survey for a completion rate of 12%. Due to the low response rate, estimates from the survey should be interpreted with caution.

The survey asked students about sexual assault and harassment that occurred in a university context. The survey found that:

  • 1 in 6 (16%) students had been sexually harassed since starting university
  • 1 in 20 (4.5%) students had been sexually assaulted since starting university
  • 1 in 12 (8.1%) students had been sexually harassed in the 12 months prior to the survey
  • 1 in 90 (1.1%) had been sexually assaulted in the 12 months prior to the survey (Heywood et al. 2022).

The majority of students (84%) who had been sexually harassed in a university context reported that that their most impactful incident involved a man or male(s). Most people who had been sexually harassed or assaulted knew the perpetrators of the most impactful incident – 51% of students knew some or all of the perpetrators involved in the sexual harassment, and 66% knew some or all the perpetrators involved in the assault (Heywood et al. 2022).

More information about the characteristics of sexual harassment and assault in the university context, such as the actions taken, can be found at National Student Safety Survey. More information about the experiences of young people can also be found in Children and young people.

Image-based abuse

Sexual violence can take the form of image-based abuse. Image-based abuse happens when someone shares, or threatens to share, an intimate image or video without the consent of the person pictured (Office of the eSafety Commissioner 2022). Data about the extent of image-based abuse are available from a 2017 Image-based Abuse National Survey. Just over 4,100 people participated in the survey – about 2,400 women aged 15–45, 1,500 women aged 46 and over and men, together with a boost sample of 200 women aged 15–45 who had experienced image-based abuse. Respondents were surveyed using an online self-completion questionnaire via two sample frames – the Social Research Centre’s Life in Australia probability-based online panel and a non-probability online panel (Office of the eSafety Commissioner 2017).

According to the 2017 Image-based Abuse National Survey, 1 in 10 (11%) respondents have had a nude or sexual photo or video of them posted online or sent on without their consent. The study also found that:

  • women and younger adults were more likely to have experienced image-based abuse. Of all respondents aged 18 and over, 15% of women and 7% of men had experienced image-based abuse. The largest difference in prevalence between women and men was among young adults aged 18–24 (24% of women and 16% of men).
  • perpetrators of image-based abuse are typically someone whom the victim knew – 29% said it was a friend they knew face-to-face and 13% said it was an ex-partner (Office of the eSafety Commissioner 2017).

The study found that certain population groups – younger adults, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) people and those who identify as LGBTI were more likely to be targets of image-based abuse.

Dating app facilitated sexual violence

The use of dating apps and websites have increased substantially in the past decade. While they improve opportunities for seeking social, romantic and/or sexual relationships, they can also be used to perpetrate sexual violence and harassment online and offline. This is known as dating app facilitated sexual violence (DAFSV), which includes any form of sexual violence and harassment facilitated by mobile dating apps and websites (Wolbers et al. 2022).

The Australian Institute of Criminology conducted a nationally representative study on almost 10,000 dating app or website users in Australia to examine the prevalence and nature of DAFSV. The study found that sexual harassment was the most common form of DAFSV victimisation reported (69%), including being contacted again by someone after the respondent said they were not interested (47%) and being sent unwanted sexually explicit messages (47%) (Wolbers et al. 2022).

More than 1 in 4 (28%) respondents reported being stalked online by someone they met through dating apps or websites, with 25% reporting being pressured to give the perpetrator information about their location or schedule. One in 7 (14%) respondents reported experiencing in-person stalking by someone they met through dating apps or websites, which involves the perpetrator loitering around, following the respondent or showing up inappropriately at their home, school or workplace (Wolbers et al. 2022).

Other forms of sexual violence

There are other forms of sexual violence that may not be captured in existing measures of sexual assault, harassment or abuse. Limited data are available for these forms of violence, however, they remain a key focus in a growing body of research and are considered in scope for the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032:

  • sexual coercion, including reproductive coercion (see Pregnant people)
  • indecent exposure (flashing) either in person, online or via other electronic means
  • female genital mutilation/cutting, which refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO 2022a)
  • persistent sexual abuse of a family member. There have been reports of such cases in Australia, however, there is a lack of more detailed data. Literature sources note that it is difficult to detect, substantiate and prosecute these forms of sexual abuse, and they are often under-represented in forensic samples and studies (Goodman-Delahunty 2014; Middleton 2012; Salter 2013).
  • forms of modern slavery such as sexual exploitation and servitude (see Modern slavery)
  • forced sterilisation
  • forms of sexual assault experienced by sex workers.

A more general discussion about data gaps can be found in Key information gaps and development activities.

What are the responses to sexual violence?

Sexual violence responses comprise a mix of informal responses (such as contact with friends and family) and formal responses (such as assistance from police, legal services, specialist crisis services, child protection services or health professionals). Responses can be initiated by victim-survivors, by another person, or sometimes by the perpetrator. Sexual violence is under-reported and most sexual violence does not come to the attention of services.

Where do people seek help?

The 2021–22 PSS collected detailed data from women about the most recent incident of sexual assault by a male that occurred in the last 10 years. This included data on support-seeking and police contact. Of the estimated 737,200 women who had experienced sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years:

  • 57% (417,000) sought advice or support after the most recent incident.
  • 27% (198,000) sought formal support (for example, from health professionals, police, legal services, counsellors, support workers, helplines or other service providers)
  • 46% (337,000) sought informal support (including from friends, family members, colleagues, bosses or a priest/minister/rabbi or other spiritual advisor) (ABS 2023d).

People may seek advice or support from more than once source following the most recent incident of sexual assault. The most common source of support was a friend or family member – 45% (331,000) of women (ABS 2023d).

More information about the actions taken can be found in How do people respond?.

Police and justice responses

Police and justice responses are a key part of the formal response to sexual violence, and can be used to keep perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. Data from the ABS Recorded Crime collections are available to report on:

  • the number of sexual assault victims recorded by police, including information about age, sex and changes over time
  • the number of offenders proceeded against by police for sexual assault and related offences, including information about age, sex and changes over time.

These data about police responses are reported in Sexual assault reported to police.

Data from the ABS Criminal Courts, Australia collection are available to report on the number of defendants finalised in the criminal courts for sexual assault and related offences. More detailed information about criminal court proceedings can be found in Legal systems.

Health services

Data from the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database are available to report on the number of people admitted to hospital for sexual assault related injuries, including data on:

  • sex of victim-survivor
  • relationship to perpetrator
  • changes over time.

These data are reported in Health services.

Other responses

Other responses to sexual violence come from different parts of the health and community service systems. Some data are available to report on:

No single data source can describe the range of formal responses to sexual violence across Australia. Data improvements are underway in several areas to build the evidence base and enhance our understanding of sexual violence responses.

A summary of some data improvement work currently underway can be found in Key information gaps and development activities.

What are the impacts of sexual violence?

The impacts of sexual violence can be serious and long-lasting, affecting an individual’s, wellbeing, education, relationships, and housing outcomes. Longitudinal data, such as the data collected by the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), can provide useful insights into these impacts (Box 4).

Long-term health impacts for women

Data from the ALSWH are available to look at the relationship between lifetime experiences of sexual violence and health. Data are available about three cohorts of women, those born 1989–1995, 1973–1978 and 1946–1951.

Compared with those who had not experienced sexual violence, women who had experienced sexual violence were:

  • 23–67% more likely to report high levels of bodily pain
  • 42–84% more likely to report a recent sexually transmitted infection
  • 39–62% more likely to report a recent diagnosis of and/or treatment for depression
  • around 50% more likely to report a recent diagnosis of and/or treatment for anxiety (Townsend et al. 2022).

The ALSWH also collects data about health behaviours, for example, on smoking, alcohol consumption and health screening. The relationship between sexual violence and certain health behaviours varied across cohorts.

Compared with women who had not experienced sexual violence, women who had experienced sexual violence were:

  • more likely to be current smokers (60% more for women aged 24–30 in 2019, 26% more likely for women aged 40–45)
  • more likely to have recently used illicit drugs (around 30% for women aged 24–30 or 40–45) (Townsend et al. 2022).

Data from the ALSWH show that across all cohorts, women who had experienced sexual violence had higher average annual costs for non-referred health services than women who had not experienced sexual violence. Non-referred services include those such as consultation with a general practitioner or registered doctor (Townsend et al. 2022).

This difference in annual cost also increased over time. There was higher uptake of at least one mental health consultation for women who had experienced sexual violence compared with those who had not experienced sexual violence. However, for women who had at least one mental health consultation, the total number of consultations and government-subsidised costs for mental health services were similar between women who had and had not experienced sexual violence (Townsend et al. 2022).

Research using data from the ALSWH also show that sexual violence in childhood is a risk factor for other violence. More information about this relationship is reported in Child sexual abuse.

Economic and financial impacts

Sexual violence can have long-term impacts on a person’s education, employment and financial security. A study conducted by Townsend et al. (2022) adopted a life course approach to determining the prevalence and impact of sexual violence among women.

The data show that women aged 24–30 in 2019 who had experienced sexual violence were:

  • 34% less likely to have obtained a qualification beyond year 12 than those who had not experienced violence
  • 7% less likely to be in full-time employment compared with those who had not experienced violence (Townsend et al. 2022).

This pattern was not the same across all cohorts. Women who were aged 68–73 in 2019, who had experienced violence, were 33% more likely to have obtained a qualification beyond year 12 compared with those who had not experienced violence (Townsend et al. 2022).

Financial stress

Financial stress was measured in the ALSWH by asking respondents whether they had felt stressed about money in the 12 months prior to the survey. If a respondent answered that they were ‘very stressed’ or ‘extremely stressed’, they were identified as experiencing financial stress.

Women who had experienced sexual violence were more likely to experience high financial stress compared with women in the same cohort who had not experienced violence – 43% higher for women aged 24–30 in 2019, 30% higher for those aged 40–45 and 45% higher for those aged 68–73 (Townsend et al. 2022).

More information about the economic and financial impacts of family and domestic violence, see Economic and financial impacts.

How many homicides involve sexual assault?

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC’s) National Homicide Monitoring Program, in the 6 years to 30 June 2018, 17 (1.2%) of 1,370 homicide incidents were preceded by a sexual assault (Bricknell 2019a, 2019b, 2020a, 2020b; Bryant and Bricknell 2017). These data cannot distinguish whether death occurred as a direct result of physical injuries sustained during the sexual assault or additional injuries sustained directly after the sexual assault.

More information can be found in Domestic homicide.

Has sexual violence changed over time?

Data on the 12-month prevalence rate of sexual violence and harassment are available in the 2021–22 PSS to report on changes over time. For women, the 12-month prevalence rate of sexual violence remained stable between 2016 (1.8%) and 2021–22 (1.9%). Sexual violence statistics for men have a high relative standard error and are considered too unreliable to measure changes over time (Figure 2) (ABS 2023a).

Figure 2: Proportion of women who experienced sexual violence in the 12 months before the survey, 1996 to 2021–22

^: statistically significant difference to the 2021–22 prevalence rate.

Source: ABS PSS | Data source overview

Data from ABS Recorded Crime – Victims show a different pattern. In 2022, police recorded 32,100 victims of sexual assault in Australia. This was an increase of 3% (1,072 victims) from 2021 (ABS 2023b). Police recorded sexual assaults have increased over time since 2010. This may reflect changes in reporting behaviour or variances in the police detection that have occurred over the same time period. There are a number of reasons why the patterns over time can differ across data sources. For example, more information on sexual violence during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in FDSV and COVID-19.

Data are available from the PSS to report on the proportion of people who experienced sexual harassment in the 12 months prior to the survey between 2005 and 2021–22. The data show that:

  • for women, the 12-month prevalence rate of sexual harassment fell from 17% in 2016 to 13% in 2021–22
  • for men, the 12-month prevalence rate of sexual harassment decreased from 9.3% in 2016 to 4.5% in 2021–22 (Figure 3) (ABS 2023a).

Figure 3: Proportion of adults who experienced sexual harassment, by sex, 2012 to 2021–22

^: statistically significant difference to the 2021–22 prevalence rate.

Source: ABS PSS | Data source overview

Is it the same for everyone?

Sexual violence occurs across all ages and demographics, however, some groups of people may be more at risk or more affected. Data about how different groups across the population experience sexual violence can be used to inform more targeted programs and services for victim-survivors and perpetrators of sexual violence.

The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2023 identified some groups of people who may be more affected by gender-based violence (which includes sexual violence) than others:

  • First Nations women and children
  • women with disability
  • women and children from culturally diverse, migrant and refugee backgrounds
  • LGBTIQA+ people
  • sex workers.

Data are not always available to report on the experiences of violence for these groups, and many of these areas are currently Key information gaps and development activities.

Children and young people

The risk factors, responses and impacts of sexual violence (or abuse) committed against children and young people can differ to those associated with sexual violence against adults. Some data are available to report on child sexual abuse and the specific responses, including data from police, hospitals and child protection services. More information can be found in Children and young people, Child sexual abuse and Young women.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) women, family violence, sexual assault and abuse is a major cause of personal harm, family and community breakdown, and social fragmentation (AHRC 2020; DSS 2022). This violence is compounded by the ongoing effects of colonisation and racism. Some data are available to report on sexual violence against First Nations people, including data from police and hospitals. For more information, see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Older people

Sexual violence experienced by older people is often referred to as sexual abuse, and is a form of elder abuse. Some data are available to report on sexual abuse among older people, including data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study. Data are also available from the Department of Health and Aged Care’s Operation of the Aged Care Act report to report on sexual assault in residential aged care. For more information, see Older people.

LGBTIQA+

LGBTIQA+ people may have different risk factors and experiences of sexual violence and these can be compounded by the effects of discrimination. National reporting on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people is often limited by a lack of data on gender, sexual orientation and innate variations in sex characteristics in data collections. However, some data are available to report on the experiences of sexual violence among LGBTIQA+ people, including data on sexual assault, dating app facilitated sexual violence and identity-based abuse. For more information, see LGBTIQA+.

Mothers and pregnant people

Mothers with children and pregnant people may experience different risk factors and consequences related to sexual violence. For example, there are associations between unintended pregnancy, intimate partner and sexual violence, reproductive control and abuse, and forced termination of pregnancy (Campo 2015; Grace and Anderson 2018; Tarzia and Hegarty 2021).

For more information, see Mothers and their children and Pregnant people.

People with disability

People with disability may be at higher risk for some forms of sexual violence, particularly in institutional settings due to the nature of their disability. People with disability also experience discrimination to their disability which can increase risk or compound the effects of violence and abuse. Some data are available to report on the experiences of sexual violence among people with disability, including data about sexual violence, sexual harassment and technology facilitated abuse. For information, see People with disability.

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