LGBTIQ+ Health Australia welcomes the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report on sexual assault in Australia, whilst also expressing concern at the lack of national data available to capture the experiences of LGBTI populations.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) this week released a report titled “Sexual assault in Australia”, which highlighted key populations that were more likely to experience sexual assault. This included LGBTI people.
Despite this, the report acknowledged that limited national data was available to capture the experiences of LGBTI people, and as a result, our communities were notably omitted in the overall findings.
Nicky Bath, CEO of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, stated: “Allowing these communities to be underrepresented and to remain at higher risk is simply not good enough.”
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia has been strongly advocating for nationally consistent data indicators that capture LGBTI populations, including in the national Census.
“Their exclusion means that vital data indicators will remain missing from important data sets that are used across community, primary and tertiary health care services and programs and research. Currently, there are no other alternative data sources or solutions that could meet these needs.”
“Without good-quality data, support services are ill-equipped to plan and deliver responses in order to reduce risk and increase the safety of LGBTI people experiencing sexual assault,” said Nicky Bath.
The AIHW’s report also cited data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey, which also does not include questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia looks forward to continuing to work with the ABS to update the Sex and Gender Standard, and develop a new Sexual Orientation Standard, so that LGBTI people are meaningfully captured in future research surveys and administrative data sets across health and social services in Australia.
Key Findings of the Sexual Assault in Australia report:
- The 2016 PSS estimated that 1 in 6 women (17%, or 1.6 million) and 1 in 25 men (4.3%, or 385,000) have experienced at least 1 sexual assault since the age of 15.
- In 2018, the rate of police-recorded sexual assaults against children aged 0–14 (167.6 per 100,000) was nearly twice that of people aged 15 and over (90.2 per 100,000).
- During 2018–19, nearly all (97%) of sexual assault offenders recorded by police were male.