Sexual Assaults And Domestic Violence Are On The Rise In Sydney
Trigger warning on this article
Despite a decreasing trend in nearly all major crimes in Greater Sydney over the past five years, the city has recorded a surge of incidences of sexual assault and domestic violence.
According to the latest data by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), Sydney recorded 33,410 incidents of domestic-violence related assault between December 2021 and December 2022.
So why has this happened? Why are major crimes like robberies, burglaries, car theft, and vandalism dropping, while sexual and violent assaults are skyrocketing? What does the data mean to our community?
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In today’s episode of THIS ARVO IN SYDNEY, host Sacha Barbour Gatt spoke with LiSTNR investigative editor Clair Weaver about the newly released data on sexual assault and domestic violences and what we can do to prevent these crimes.
Weaver said that across all the suburbs, the Sutherland Shire stood out, with a 125% increase in sexual assaults and a 47% jump in domestic violence assaults between 2018 and 2022.
She also pointed to the Inner West, which recorded a 53% surge in sexual assaults and a 31% bump in domestic violence.
In order to find more details and the reason behind these alarming numbers, she spoke with Hayley Foster, the Chief Executive Officer at Full Stop Australia, an organisation that supports people impacted by domestic and sexual violence.
“Unfortunately, I can hand on heart tell you that sexual violence across the country is not going down. It’s actually increasing. Over half of our clients are under the age of 25,” Ms Foster said.
“Those at highest risk of both experiencing and perpetrating sexual violence are between the ages of 15 and 19. This is the cohort that we really do need to focus on,” she added.
Weaver said that pornography became more accessible for young people and replaced the role of primary instruction of sex that was taught in schools or at homes.
Ouwais Menzel, the founder of Youth Against Violence, and a survivor of sexual violence, said consent education was crucial for young people.
“I’ll say this from a survivor’s perspective. It is one of the most degrading things that can happen to you because you don’t know how to act in the first stance. You don’t know what to do,” Mr Menzel said.
“You need that guidance of adults, you need that support to be able to go, well, this is the steps I will take next,” he said.