Stuff.co.nz 13 February 2014
The rate of sexual assault in Australia and New Zealand is more than double the world average, according to a new report.
After several highly publicised rapes and murders of young women in India and South Africa, researchers from several countries decided to review and estimate prevalence of sexual violence against women in 56 countries.
The results, published in the UK medical journal The Lancet, found that 7.2 per cent of women aged 15 years or older reported being sexually assaulted by someone other than an intimate partner at least once in their lives.
The study found that Australia and New Zealand has the third-highest rate, more than double the world average, with 16.4 per cent.
However, the study’s authors have cautioned that the figures probably underestimate the true rate of sexual violence because in many areas women don’t report assaults because of underlying social or cultural stigma.
NSW Rape Crisis Centre executive officer Karen Willis says Australia is doing a fairly good job recording sexual violence, but that doesn’t mean we should sit back and think that all is wonderful.