Call for commitment to sexual assault, domestic violence services

Call for commitment to sexual assault, domestic violence services Main Image

16 September 2022

Domestic violence and sexual assault are the only major offences to see an increase over the last five years, according to the latest crime statistics released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Across NSW, sexual assault rates are up 14.3% and domestic violence offences are up 10.6% over 5 years.

The Hunter Valley saw a 40% increase in sexual assault incidents, which was the highest increase in the state, while sexual assault rates in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle were also up 11.3% over five years

Member for Charlestown and Shadow Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison MP said the data was a devastating reminder that more action was required to stop this upward trend.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are not crimes we can afford to turn a blind eye to,” Ms Harrison said.

“I sincerely hope the Government is reading this data and considering appropriate action to prevent another increase next year.

“Everyone in NSW has the right to feel safe, particularly in their own homes. Sadly, however, this data shines a light on the fact that is not the case for many.”

Ms Harrison has called on the NSW Government to commit to ongoing funding for the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline, which is the first port of call for people reaching out for support after sexual assault.

“We know that one in three calls have been going unanswered due to funding constraints,” Ms Harrison said.

“The Government needs to commit to give it adequate support to be able to meet this growing need not just this year, but into the future.”

On Monday, Impact Economics and Policy research revealed that a stark rise in domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the NSW economy more than $3 billion by 2025. It also estimates 60,000 women experienced abuse for the first time in 2020.

“The Government has taken its eye off the ball on this issue. We know that the Premier’s Priority to reduce domestic violence recidivism by 25% by 2023 has failed,” Ms Harrison said.

“It needs to rethink its priorities and do better for vulnerable people in this state.”

Trend over 5 years (2017-18 to 2021-22):

(Data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research)


Sexual Assault

Lake Macquarie/Newcastle

Up 11.3%

Hunter Valley

Up 39.8%

Central Coast

Up 26%


Up 14.3%