Sexual assault reported to police

Sexual assault may be reported to police. Examining whether police are contacted following sexual assault can provide an indication of reporting levels and utilisation of police services. Data on whether police were contacted (by the victim or another person) after sexual assault, as well as reasons for not contacting, are available from the ABS Personal Safety Survey (PSS). The PSS collects information on the experiences of violence for women and men in Australia. 

The visualisation below shows whether the female respondent’s most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years was reported to police. Data for male victims are not available due to data quality issues.

Police contacted after most recent sexual assault by a male perpetrator, females, 2016

Visualisation not available for printing

Time Series

Examining reporting to police over time can provide insight into whether the reporting of sexual assaults is changing.

The visualisation below shows whether female respondent’s most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 12 months was reported to police, over time.

Police contacted after most recent incident of sexual assault by a male perpetrator in the last 12 months, females, 2005, 2012 and 2016

Visualisation not available for printing

Examining reasons why people choose not to contact police after a sexual assault can provide insight into how victims can be better supported and encouraged to seek help.

The visualisation below shows the reasons why women did not contact police following their most recent incident of sexual assault by a male in the last 10 years. Data for male victims are not available due to data quality issues.

Reasons police not contacted after most recent incident of sexual assault by a male perpetrator, females, 2016

Visualisation not available for printing