A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals young men were most likely to be the perpetrators of sexual assault.
In 2018–19, 97% of sexual assault offenders recorded by police were men, the report found. The Personal Safety Survey does not rely on police data, but collects information directly from men and women aged 18 years and above about the nature and extent of violence they have experienced since the age of 15, whether they reported it to police or not.
The CEO of Gender Equity Victoria, Tanja Kovac, said despite the high-profile MeToo movement, high-profile prosecutions of men and increased investment in behavioural change, statistics around violence against women were worsening.
The CEO for Our Watch, Patty Kinnersly, said sexual assault is “devastatingly common in Australia”.
“It is also a highly gendered issue,” she said. “As the data consistently shows, what links all forms of violence against women is that they are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.”
She said more needed to be done to address individual men’s attitudes and behaviours as well as attitudes embedded across society.