Conceptualising the prevention of sexual assault and the role of education

Conceptualising the prevention of sexual assault and the role of education

Moira Carmody

ACSSA Issues No. 10 — November 2009
Conceptualising the prevention of sexual assault and the role of education

The United Nations In-depth Study on all Forms of Violence Against Women: Report of the Secretary-General (2006) surveyed 71 countries and found that on average at least one woman in three is subjected to intimate partner violence in the course of her lifetime. Between 10% and 30% of women in other studies indicated that they had experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner (Heise, Ellsberg, & Gottemoeller, 1999). In many cases physical violence is accompanied by sexual violence. In the Australian context two large-scale prevalence studies provide insight into the local experience. The 1995 Women's Safety Survey found women in the 18-24 year age-bracket were more likely to be assaulted than women in other age groups: 19% of women aged 18-24 had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months, compared with 6.8% of women aged 35-44 and 1.2% of women aged 55 and over. Only 15% of women who identified an incident of sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the survey reported it to police (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 1996). A later study in 2005 estimated there were 44,100 persons aged 18 years and over who were victims of at least one sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the survey; approximately 72,000 incidents of sexual assault were experienced by these victims (ABS, 2005).

Authors and Acknowledgements

Moira Carmody is an Associate Professor, Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

I am grateful to Chris Krogh for the analysis in the discussion on prevention completed as part of the National Sexual Assault Prevention Education Research Project.

Publication details

ACSSA Issues
No. 10
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, November 2009.
Last updated June 2015
20 pp.
ISSN: 
1833-7864
ISBN: 
978-1-921414-16-9
Suggested citation:

Carmody, M. (2009). Conceptualising the prevention of sexual assault and the role of education (ACSSA Issues No. 10). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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