Research report

Violence against women in Australia: Additional analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Personal Safety Survey, 2012

22 Oct 2015

This report provides substantial additional analysis of the data produced through the Australian Personal Safety Survey (PSS). The PSS is currently a largely untapped resource - even the publicly available PSS data has yet to be fully explored and applied to the most obviously relevant research and policy contexts.

The ANROWS PSS analysis provides several hundred new statistical items related to violence against women. Almost all the data in this report is new – not only has this information not been publicly available before, but the data tables themselves have not been generated previously.

The PSS is the most comprehensive quantitative study of interpersonal violence in Australia. The survey is administered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Over 17,000 women and men completed the 2012 survey.

Violence experienced by women and men

Violence is extremely common in Australia, with four out of ten women & five out of ten men having experienced at least one incident of violence since the age of 15. Men were more likely to be victims of physical violence (one in two men & one in three women) while women were more likely to be victims of sexual violence (one in five women & one in 22 men).

Both women and men were more than three times as likely to be physically assaulted by a man than by a woman. A man was most likely to experience violence in a place of entertainment and a woman was most likely to experience violence in her home. Seven out of ten men and five out of ten women said alcohol or other drugs contributed to their most recent physical assault by a male.

4.3 times as many women than men reported that they felt fear or anxiety after their most recent physical assault committed by an opposite sex perpetrator.

Gender remains the most substantial variable when considering differences in patterns of victimisation and perpetration.

This report addresses work covered in ANROWS research project 1.1 " Prevalence and incidence of violence against women. Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey 2012 additional data analysis on violence against women". Please consult the ANROWS website for more information on this project. In addition to this paper, an ANROWS Compass is also available as part of this project.

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