29% of adults have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence in their lifetime | HMA

29% of adults have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence in their lifetime



Every year I look forward to the data from the New Zealand Crime And Victim Survey (Cycle 4 November 2022 – November 2021, N=6,244, response rate 76%). Looking forward may not be the best descriptor, given what it really tells us about what is happening or has happened within our communities.  

The report states that 35% of females and 12% of males have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime. This was highest in young people. I have often wondered about the role of online pornography in supporting more aggressive sexual behaviour.  

When it comes to intimate partner violence, 23% of females and 10% of males have had this experience over their lifetime. We also know that in terms of intersectionality (the combination of gender, ethnicity, disability, et cetera) makes for increased risk. For example, disabled adults had an elevated risk of sexual assault or intimate partner violence at around 45% during their lifetime. 

The other statistic that worried me greatly was around perceptions of safety. One in 20 adults reported feeling unsafe when with their family or whānau. We often talk about the household/whare and being with family/whānau as a place of safety. The good news is that for most it feels okay. However, for many, this is not the case. 

So, what does this tell us about our ‘pavlova paradise?’ Obviously, all is not well behind closed doors. We are still subjecting significant numbers of people in our lives to abusive practice. Every one of us, whether we are a partner, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or friend, has a responsibility to say, ‘It stops here.’ Our challenge is to call out behaviour as we see it. The other challenge is to start conversations whānau/family about what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour. Only then may we see the statistics even further. 


You can read the released statistics on the NZCVS website, here: https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/research-data/nzcvs/resources-and-results/

Published on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022, under Family violence, Offender work, What Ken thinks

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