THINGS THEY RARELY TELL

ALICE'S
STORY

At the age of six, I became nervous of people. Withdrawn. I became frightened of footsteps. I walked along the corridor, with my back to the wall, afraid of being hurt from behind. I was abused, and I live with memories of the assault every day.

Sexual assaults in Australia reach a six-year high

  • Australian police recorded more than 21,000 sexual assaults in 2015, with four in five victims being women, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed. "This was an increase of 3 per cent on the previous year, and the highest number of sexual assault reports we’ve seen in six years," said ABS spokesman William Milne. “Nationally, over four in five sexual assault victims were female. “Females aged between 15 and 19 years were seven times more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault compared with the population.”
  • RMIT senior lecturer in social work, Christine Craik, said Australia had a victim blaming culture where women were punished for speaking out about their abuse. “Women aren’t even believed when they talk about it and when they do they have to prove it happened,” Ms Craik said. “You don’t have to prove your house was broken into if it happened, or who the thief was who stole from you, but in our system you have to prove there wasn’t any consent.” In order for sexual assaults against women to decrease, Ms Craik said a national conversation was needed. “Sexual assault is about power and balance, not sex,” she said. “Women are told to be careful at night but that isn’t how the majority of abuse occurs.”
  • A high percentage of women who have reported sexual assaults to authorities knew their perpetrator before the crime, contesting the public perception that it is mostly strangers who commit rape against their victims, Ms Craik said. “It is far more likely for sexual abuse to take place within the home rather than from a stranger.” Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) spokeswoman Carolyn Worth said societal attitudes towards women were contributing factors to the causes of abuse. “There’s an overall societal issue where women aren’t necessarily seen as people who should be treated with a great deal of respect,” Ms Worth said. “The issue that individual people who are violent and misogynists and they think they are entitled to in fact behave in certain ways.”
  • Most female victims of sexual assaults know their perpetrators, the study reveals. This finding contests a public perception that it is mostly strangers rape their victims. “For some people it teaches them the only currency around is sex, that’s what in fact you trade for a lot of other things,” Ms Worth. “The messages they’ve been taught as a child is not that they have any intrinsic value themselves, but that they’re loved for what it is they can do or provide for somebody else.”
  • Most offenders of sexual crimes are men, 93 per cent of the offenders were male, the ABS found. Ms Worth said sexual abuse at a young age could affect development, and had the potential to condition women into believing such behavior was acceptable and normal. “For some women they get used to being treated that way,” she said. “They don’t really get indignant or upset that’s all they’ve ever known, that’s how they’ve been treated all their life they were abused as children. “Then they’ve married and is involved with someone who is violent, and is forced to have sex when they don’t want to which is often part of a very unpleasant family violence situation.”

AGES OF WOMEN
WHO HAVE BEEN
SEXUALLY
ASSAULTED

Females aged between 15 and 19 years were seven times more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault compared with the population.

87.5%
Age 15-19

12.5%
Other Age Groups

OFFENDER
TYPE

It is far more likely for sexual abuse to take place within the home rather than from a stranger.

75%
Familiar

25%
Stranger

IT'S NOT
YOUR FAULT

Contact numbers:
1800 RESPECT (Australia) 1800 737 732
Sexual Assault Crisis Line (Victoria) 1800 806 292

+

www.000webhost.com