Sexual assaults reached record highs in NSW after COVID-19 lockdown ended, data shows
ABC’s article by Catherine Hanrahan reports that sexual assaults in NSW reached record highs after 2020’s COVID-19 lockdown, with police reports up more than 10 per cent year-on-year. NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data shows how the pandemic affected sexual assault reporting.
On March 30 last year, NSW residents were ordered into lockdown at home and only permitted to leave for essential reasons. The restrictions were not eased until May 15. While sexual assault reports recorded by police fell to 336 in April during the pandemic lockdown, the numbers escalated to more than 600 in June and remained high for the rest of the year. The sexual assault data includes sexual assaults that occurred in a domestic-violence setting.
Hayley Foster, CEO of Women’s Safety NSW, said it was important to understand that the vast majority of sexual assaults occurred in the domestic setting. “We think about it as the stranger in the nightclub as being most common, but we know it is most commonly perpetrated in the home by somebody that you know and are close with,” she said. She said there was a substantial increase in sexual violence when people were stuck behind closed doors and unable to escape in the face of danger.
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