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By Maani Truu and Nicole Asher


Women are three times more likely than men to report an incident of physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner they’ve lived with, while one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

More broadly, two in five Australians over the age of 18 — or around eight million people — have experienced physical or sexual violence.

These figures come from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) latest Personal Safety Survey, which canvassed 12,000 Australian women and men throughout 2021 and the beginning of 2022 on their experiences of violence. For the first time, the survey also measured rates of economic abuse by cohabiting partners and found one in six women — or 16 per cent — had experienced it.

The results, released on Wednesday, reveal an unexpected drop in the number of people reporting violence and emotional abuse in the 12 months leading up to the survey at the hands of a partner they’ve lived with, compared to the same study conducted six years earlier.