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Eight million Australians have experienced violence



Around eight million Australians aged over 18 have experienced physical or sexual violence since they turned 15, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The sobering figure equates to two in five Australians, or about 40 percent of the adult population.

Men are slightly more likely than women to experience violence, results from the bureau's Personal Safety Survey, released today, show.

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"We found 43 per cent of men and 39 per cent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15," Michelle Ducat, ABS head of crime and justice statistics said.

The survey, which the first of its type in six years, asked 12,000 Australians in 2021 and at the beginning of 2022 about their experiences of violence. 

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For the first time, the survey also included questions about economic abuse.

An estimated 16 per cent of Australian women had experienced economic abuse, which occurs when a person's access to economic resources is controlled or restricted by their partner, the survey found.

Results of the Personal Safety Survey.

Around one in thirteen men also indicated they had experienced economic abuse.

The survey results have given an insight into violence and abuse levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to those reported back in 2016.

"We saw similar rates of physical violence and sexual violence in 2021-22 when compared with 201," Ducat said.

An unexpected finding of the survey showed the rate of sexual harassment declined for both women – down from 17 per cent in 2016 to 13 per cent in 2021-22 – and men – 9.3 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

If you or anyone you know is in need or crisis, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline (13 11 14).

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