Sexual assault against Indigenous children : New South Wales 2003-2007


Child sexual assault in Indigenous communities has previously been identified as a significant problem. This bulletin analyses recorded crime data in New South Wales over the period 2003 to 2007. The data shows that there has been a 33.2% increase in the reported rate of child sexual assault over this period and that not all children are at equal risk of becoming a victim of child sexual assault with differences evident on the basis of Indigenous status, gender, age and geographical location. Indigenous children are the reported victims of sexual assault at around double the rate of non-Indigenous children. Female children are the reported victims at 5 times the rate of male children and the most common age of reported victims is 12 to 15 years. While criminal proceedings are not commonly commenced in these matters, around half of all persons of interest who were proceeded against in the reported child sexual assault incidents from 2003 to 2007 were related to the victim and a further 38% were persons otherwise known to the victim. The information provided in this paper can be used as a starting point for the development of education and prevention strategies in Indigenous communities.