Sexual violence prevention

Sexual violence can affect Queenslanders of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, education levels, and occupations. However, we know that women, children and young people face the highest prevalence of sexual violence.

In Queensland in 2017-18, sexual offences accounted for 15.5% of all crimes reported by the Queensland Police Service. An average of 14 sexual offences per day – affecting 5,207 people – were recorded over the year. Women made up 84% of all victims of sexual offences, 70.6% of victims knew their offender, and 96% of perpetrators were male.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 87% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police, so the real numbers are likely to be much higher.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) found that:

  • 53% of Australian women and a quarter of Australian men had experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men had been sexually assaulted or threatened since the age of 15
  • for 40% of women, their most recent incident of sexual assault was in their home.

Although attitudes towards sexual violence are improving, the National Community Attitudes to Violence against Women Survey–undertaken every 4 years–shows that our society still has some concerning beliefs:

  • Up to 15% of people think it’s justified for a man to force a woman to have sex if she kisses him first.
  • 1 in 10 people think that if a woman falls asleep during sex, it’s understandable if a man keeps having sex with her anyway.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 people believe that if a woman sends a nude image to her partner, she is partially responsible if he shares it without permission.
  • 42% of Australians think it’s common for sexual assault accusations to be used as a way of getting back at men.

The Queensland Government strongly believes that sexual violence is unacceptable, and is committed to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual violence in our communities.

  • Sexual Violence Prevention Framework

    The Queensland Government is committed to developing a Sexual Violence Prevention Framework to provide a strong, cohesive and evidence-based approach to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual violence, including (but not limited to) sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, technology-facilitated violence, youth sexual violence, and child sexual abuse.

  • Review of consent in rape and sexual assault

    On 9 July 2019 it was announced the matter of consent in rape and sexual assault cases will be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

  • Current initiatives addressing sexual violence

    Find out about the initiatives and commitments across government that are contributing towards preventing and responding to sexual violence.

  • Youth sexual violence

    Youth sexual violence is a complex and challenging issue that can affect young people in all communities across Queensland. Find out about our commitment to addressing this issue.