Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Some ABS figures on assaults – a statistically significant decrease in men experiencing violence

They have been doing their best at the Australian Bureau of Statistics during the Sydney tabloid silly season to inject a few facts into the mock hysteria of the drunken one punch assault explosion. ”Looking for statistics on crime? The ABS has publications on recorded crime, victims, offenders, prisoners and personal safety. For these and other crime and justice data visit our National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics.” Alas the message has not attracted the attention of the beat-up merchants of the Tele and the SMH. So here are a few items from Personal Safety, Australia, 2012  that was released back in mid-December last year.
In 2012 it was estimated that 8.5% of all men aged 18 years and over (723,400) and 4.6% of all women aged 18 years and over (403,200) had experienced physical violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. Further, 1.2% of all women aged 18 years and over (102,400) had experienced sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. In 2012 it was estimated that 49% of all men aged 18 years and over (4,148,000) and 41% of all women aged 18 years and over (3,560,600) had experienced violence since the age of 15.
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CHANGES IN PREVALENCE OF VIOLENCE OVER TIME
Between 2005 and 2012 there was a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of men aged 18 years and over who had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview. In 2005 an estimated 10.8% of all men had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview compared to 8.7% in 2012. This change was largely driven by the decrease in the estimated number of men who had experienced physical violence in the 12 months prior to interview (10.4% in 2005 compared to 8.5% in 2012).
While there was a statistically significant decrease from 1996 to 2005 in the proportion of women aged 18 years and over who had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (from 7.1% in 1996 to 5.8% in 2005), there was no statistically significant change from 2005 to 2012 in the proportion of women who had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. In 2005 an estimated 5.8% of all women had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to interview compared to 5.3% in 2012.
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As to differences  between states the ABS said that for women aged 18 years and over, there was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of violence for women in each State/Territory compared to the national estimate, with the exception of the Northern Territory where women experienced violence at a higher rate. Of all women aged 18 years and over in the Northern Territory, an estimated 8.1% had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to survey compared to the national estimate for women of 5.3%.
For men aged 18 years and over, there was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of violence for men in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia or Western Australia compared to the national estimate. No data for men was available for Tasmania, the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory.
INVOLVEMENT OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS IN MOST RECENT INCIDENT OF VIOLENCE
The 2012 PSS collected information from men and women aged 18 years and over about whether they perceived alcohol or drugs had been involved in their most recent incident of violence (for each of the eight different types of violence) and how it was perceived that alcohol or drugs had contributed, including whether: they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs; if they believed the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and/or if alcohol or drugs contributed in other ways.
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In comparing men and women who had experienced physical assault by a male in the past 20 years:
  • Women were more likely than men to have experienced physical assault by a male in their home. An estimated 62% of women (1,055,200 out of the 1,716,300 women who had been physically assaulted by a male) compared to 8.4% of men (195,800 out of the 2,322,800 men who had been physically assaulted by a male) had experienced their most recent incident of physical assault by a male in their home.
  • Men were more likely than women to have experienced physical assault by a male at a place of entertainment or recreation or at an outside location. An estimated 34% of men (793,100 out of the 2,322,800 men who had been physically assaulted by a male) compared to 5.3% of women (90,700 out of the 1,716,300 women who had been physically assaulted by a male) had experienced their most recent incident of physical assault by a male at a place of entertainment or recreation (e.g. pub, nightclub, sporting venue). Further, an estimated 27% of men (630,700 out of the 2,322,800 men who had been physically assaulted by a male) compared to 7.7% of women (131,600 out of the 1,716,300 women who had been physically assaulted by a male) had experienced their most recent incident of physical assault by a male at an outside location (e.g. street, laneway, park, car park).
When it comes to death by assaults, the ABS publication Causes of death Australia 2011 shows this pattern:
Assault accounted for 190 deaths in 2011. The deaths from assault represented 0.1% of all registered deaths and 2.1% of all external causes of death in 2011. Almost twice as many males (120) as females (70) died from assault in 2011, closely following the trend since 2001. The median age at death for assault was 40.1 years. Median age at death for males was 40.5 years, compared with 37.5 years for females.
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