DV sex attacks at six-year high

RAPE and sexual assault are becoming more common in domestic violence attacks across Australia, new crime data shows.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2015 report, released on Tuesday, shows sexual violence rose by 3%, reaching a six-year high.

Of the 21,380 rapes and other sex attacks in 2015, 7464 were related to domestic violence.

The number of female victims of DV sex crimes jumped 8% while the level of male victims remained steady.

The report also shows that 85% of all victims of DV sex attacks were female. Girls and young women aged up to 19 made up 3730 or 59% of these victims.

Females aged 15-19 were seven times more likely than the rest of the population to be sexually assaulted.

"Nationally, over four in five sexual assault victims were female," ABS representative William Milne said.

Most of the attacks happened at home and they rarely involved weapons.

The data also reveals the majority of domestic and family violence victims in Australia were women.

While domestic violence rose, murders overall have dropped by 2%.

Of the 413 murders in 2015, 158 victims were killed by a partner, former partner or family member - three a week.

"This is the fourth consecutive year in which reports of homicide and related offences have fallen," Mr Milne said.

Gun murders decreased by 24%.

The report said about three out of five murder victims were male.

New South Wales and the Northern Territory were the only jurisdictions to record a drop in physical assaults.

NSW, SA, the ACT and WA reported fewer robberies but blackmail and extortion remained steady.

Kidnapping statistics did not change and unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft increased in the ACT, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria.



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