Increased funding and support services vital for sexual assault survivors, ABS data shows.

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Increased funding and support services vital for sexual assault survivors, ABS data shows.

3 February 2022
Two people holding hands

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today shows male sexual assault offenders have increased by 13% over the past 10 years, with 53,570 sexual assault offenders recorded between 2010/11 and 2019/20.

Full Stop Australia chief executive officer Hayley Foster said the data highlights a clear need for long term and consistent funding for sexual violence services across Australia.

“Everyone impacted by sexual violence deserves to be supported in their safety and recovery,” Ms Foster said.

Full Stop Australia has coordinated the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline for almost 50 years, supporting survivors and their loved ones recover after experiencing sexual violence.

Last year, the helpline received 14,089 calls and online contacts. Yet at current funding levels, one in every three calls (29%) were unable to be answered.

“The NSW Sexual Violence Helpline has not received a substantial increase in funding in over 35 years,” Ms Foster added.

“Demand for sexual assault services has continued to grow, yet there has not been a corresponding increase in funding to meet increased client needs.”

Ms Foster noted there are now strong community expectations that sexual assault services would be available to anyone impacted by sexual violence.

Full Stop Australia is hopeful the NSW Government will see this as a priority in the upcoming budget.

The data also found 97% of sexual assault offenders were male and more than a quarter had been involved in more than one police incident during a 12-month period.

“Sexual violence is a major national health and welfare issue, impacting people of all ages, ethnicities and genders, but predominantly women and children.” Ms Foster said.

“It’s time sexual violence support services were properly and adequately funded to make meaningful change across the country.”