A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed harrowing data on sexual assault in Australia. In particular, that young men aged 15-19 had the highest offender rates of any age group in the country.

“In 2018-19, the vast majority (97%) of sexual assault offenders recorded by police were male,” AIHW spokesperson Louise York said.

“Young males, aged 15-19 when police proceedings commenced, had the highest offender rates of any age group.”

In 2018, the rate of sexual assaults reported to police was also seven times higher for female victims than males, with more than 154.4 assaults per 100,000 women, compared with about 23.5 per 100,000 men.

The report, Sexual assault in Australia, pulled together figures from a number of different sources over the past few years, including police-recorded data.

Police documented around 18,300 reports of sexual assaults in 2018, with these victims aged 15 and over when the sexual assault was reported to police.

The AIHW found this figure equated to around 90 reported sexual assaults per 100,000 Australians aged 15 and over.

“The sexual assault rate was higher for those aged 15-19 than any other age group,” York said, adding that this was true for both women (840.1 per 100,000) and men (86.7 per 100,000).

A separate study published by the Australian Institute of Criminology surveyed 15,000 women aged 18 years and over. Conducted in May of this year, the survey found that 2.2% of all women and 4.2% of women in cohabiting relationships experienced sexual violence in the first three months of the pandemic.

In April, NSW Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said there had been a 75% increase in the number of Google searches related to domestic violence since the first recorded case of coronavirus.

The AIHW report reflected a time from before the COVID-19 pandemic. It also didn’t include other types of sexual violence in its report, such as sexual harassment or the distribution of intimate images or videos without the consent of the person pictured.

Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

Image: Getty Images