Department of Family and Community Services

3.1 Reporting rates amongst victims of assault

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Rates of reporting to police by victims of physical assault and face-to-face threatened assault

Current position

Physical assault

In NSW in 2011-12, the reporting rate amongst women who experienced physical assault in the previous 12 months was 65 percent. The reporting rate for men was lower, at 53 percent.

Face-to-face threatened assault

The reporting rate for women who experienced face-to-face threatened assault was 47 percent, compared to 43 percent for men.

Gender gap

  • Women are 12 percentage points more likely than men to report physical assault to police, and 4 percentage points more likely than men to report face-to-face threatened assault.
The direction of
change over time

Women’s reporting rate for physical assault in NSW in 2011-12 was 9 percentage points higher than in 2010-11, when it was 56 percent. The reason for this rise is uncertain. Men’s reporting rate was stable in both years, at 53 percent (Figure 6.6).

Women’s reporting rate for face-to-face threatened assault in NSW was almost the same in 2011-12 as it was in 2010-11 (47 percent compared to 49 percent, respectively). Men’s reporting rate, however, showed a statistically significant increase from 28 percent in 2010-11 to 43 percent in 2011-12 (Figure 6.6).

Discussion

While women are more likely than men to report incidents of physical assault and face-to-face
threatened assault to police, this data does not distinguish between DV and non-DV related assaults. It is therefore not possible to conclude from this data whether the context of the assault (DV or non-DV) influenced the victim’s decision to report or not report the assault.

Also see the focus topic on under-reporting of domestic violence-related assault.

This data was collected as part of the ABS 2011–12 Multipurpose Household Survey. The sample was accumulated over a 12-month period from July 2011 to June 2012. Respondents were aged 15 years and over.

Year collected: 2011-12.
Data source: ABS (2013) Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2011-12, Cat no. 4530.0 (some data unpublished). More information is available at www.abs.gov.au

Figure 6.6 Reporting rates for victims of assault, by sex, NSW, 2010-12

Fig 6.6

Population: People in NSW aged 15 years and over.
Source: ABS (2013) Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2011-12, Cat no. 4530.0 (some data unpublished).