Sexual violence is highly prevalent in our society, yet it remain some of the most under-reported of serious offences. Research has found that many people in the community hold attitudes and beliefs that justify, conceal, excuse, or minimise sexual victimisation. Victim/survivors often do not speak out about these experiences because of fear, shame and the lack of community understanding about the range of circumstances in which sexual violence occurs, and its impact on victim/survivors.
Sexual violence is about power acted out in a sexual way, and is a crime of violence which has harmful individual, social and economic costs to our community.
Sexual violence includes a range of unwanted behaviours including: Touching, Sexual harassment and intimidation, Coerced sexual activity, Sexual assault and Rape, and can include other physical and emotional violence.
Statistics and Facts
- 1 in 5 Australian women had experienced sexual violence;
- 1 in 6 Australian women had experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner;
- 1 in 4 Australian women had experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner;
- 1 in 3 Australian women had experienced physical violence.
- 36% of women had experienced physical or sexual violence from someone they knew.
- For 62% of the women who had experienced physical assault by a male perpetrator, the most recent incident was in their home.
- 24% of women who experienced violence had never sought advice or support.
- 58% of them had never contacted the police.
- 61 % had children in their care when the violence occurred.
- 73 % had experienced more than one incident of violence.
Consequences of Sexual Violence
People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to report:
- Frequent headaches
- Long-term pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor physical and mental health
Other health effects can include:
- Severe anxiety, stress, or fear
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Flashback or Intrusive Thoughts
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Eating disorders
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Self-injury or suicide
Break the Silence! Get help!
After a sexual assault, you may feel fear, shame, guilt, or shock. These feelings are normal. But sexual assault is never your fault. It may be frightening to think about talking about the assault, but it is important to get help. Contact us.
At WBSAS you will:
- Be heard and believed;
- Be supported;
- Be treated with respect and dignity.
- Communicate in your own language, (interpreter available if necessary);
- Be given information about options;
- Have control over your choices;
- Have your confidentiality and privacy respected.