'Helping themselves': Sexual assault trend shocking cops
YOUNG, incoherent women are being taken advantage of by "gutless" men shifting the blame on their victims in a disturbing sexual assault trend, according to one of Sunshine Coast's top cops.
Over the past fortnight, multiple women have been sexually assaulted while sleeping, intoxicated or when incoherent, with their attackers claiming to police they've done nothing wrong.
Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said this type of brazen behaviour where men were "helping themselves" to women was deeply worrying.
These concerns come after a Coolum woman was sexually assaulted in her own bed, and a Caloundra woman assaulted next to her sleeping partner last month.
Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said police were also investigating an incident on Ocean St where young men took advantage of an intoxicated women they didn't know after offering her a lift.
"It's gutless behaviour and places the victims in terrible situations at no fault of their own," he said.
Det Snr Sgt Edwards said he noticed a particular spike in young offenders aged 19 to 20 years old who didn't respect women.
Recent Queensland Police data shows almost all sexual assaults reported on the Sunshine Coast in the past 10 months were carried out by men, including a handful of under-age offenders.
"Young males are starting this at a very young age... they don't have the ability to work out right and wrong," he said.
"They make excuses for their behaviour and can't get the severity of this through their head."
Statewide police records showed an average of 13 sexual assaults happened every day, or 4751 each year.
Det Snr Sgt Edwards said sexual assaults warranted life in prison for extreme cases, but getting to the base of the problems early was the key.
"Years ago this was not the norm... it's a cultural awareness issue with the attitudes of young men who need to learn what consent and cognitive ability is," he said.
Det Snr Sgt Edwards said young offending often led to more serious crimes, including domestic violence.
More than 70 per cent of sexual assault victims knew their offender, but 75 per cent of assaults were never reported to police, according to the QPS.
Det Snr Sgt Edwards said this meant the number of sexual assaults was likely to be higher, and encouraged women to speak up to catch the offender.
"Support is always available and if victims would prefer to speak to a female police officer, we make it happen," he said.