Prejudice and Myths Cloud View of Asylum Seekers

More needs to be done to expose the myths surrounding asylum seekers to break down the prejudices that exist against this group, according to a new Murdoch University study.

The research showed that people with a negative attitude towards asylum seekers are less likely to remember factual and accurate information about the treatment or situation of asylum seekers.

It follows a previous Murdoch research project that found that prejudiced people need to be provided with the correct information several times before it is absorbed.

Senior psychology lecturer Dr Anne Pedersen, who supervised the study by Murdoch Honours student Jared Croston, said it showed the importance of the media in educating the public about these issues.

“We know it takes time to get prejudiced people to accept the truth so it is vital that the media – where most of them get their information from – present the facts accurately,” she said.

Mr Croston surveyed 186 residents in Perth about their attitudes to asylum seekers and their acceptance of a series of myths. First he gauged the level of prejudice of study participants, and then asked whether they believed or disbelieved 11 commonly held myths about asylum seekers.

These myths included that asylum seekers are safe in Indonesia or Malaysia and don’t need to come to Australia; Australia takes more asylum seekers than most Western countries; only asylum seekers who apply through the right channels are genuine and seeking asylum without authorisation from Australian authorities is illegal under Australian law.

Participants were then given the correct information, debunking the myths, and asked to recall what they had been told.

Dr Pedersen said: “Highly prejudiced participants were significantly less likely to accurately recall the correct information that debunked the myths.

“It would appear that prejudiced participants lack the motivation to absorb the information properly.

“What we know is that giving prejudiced people information just once is not effective. They need to be given the correct information more often.

“People who feel negatively towards asylum seekers find ways to hang onto their prejudice, such as denigrating the source of information. That is why these people are more likely to accept the information if it comes from multiple sources.”

This study supported previous findings which showed that highly prejudiced participants were more likely to accept myths about asylum seekers as being true.

Dr Pedersen said the problem was compounded by the fact that when people believe they share a common view with others, they are comfortable speaking out.

“We’ve found prejudiced individuals are more likely to over-estimate their support in the community and are vocal in expressing their opinions,” she said.

“Conversely people who are accepting of asylum seekers may fall silent as they feel they are in the minority. As a result prejudiced people often have an influence that is disproportionate to their numbers.”

Despite a commonly held belief that asylum seekers are not genuine, research has shown that over the last decade, more than 90 per cent of people arriving by boat are legitimate refugees


Conservatives all at sea over human rights


By Chris Graham, September 25, 2011

Asylum seekers

Asylum seekers arrive by boat on Christmas Island, July 8, 2011. (AAP Image/Josh Jerga)

NATIONAL: The greatest threat to our nation is not boat people – it’s been living here for the past 200 years, writes CHRIS GRAHAM*.

Australia, at least for me, is a paradox. As Dorothy McKellar famously wrote, ‘I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges and droughts and flooding rains.’

The extremes in our landscape and our weather seem to have been etched into our national psyche as well, which is something I’ve never quite understood.

As a nation, we are capable of extraordinary acts of generosity. Australians donated more than $100 million to the victims of the Boxing Day tsunami that devastated Indonesia. John Howard, in one of his few genuinely decent acts while Prime Minister, topped up that individual largesse with a $1 billion government aide package.

And yet we don’t actually like Indonesia. In particular, we don’t like Indonesians, especially after what they did in Timor-Leste.

When Indonesian military backed a suppression of the East Timorese in the late 90s, Australians felt genuine outrage and demanded intervention. Howard, quite rightly, pointed out that sending troops into Indonesia uninvited could also be described as ‘an invasion’.

Pressure mounted, and Howard – to his administration’s great credit – got Australian troops in via the United Nations.

It is a matter of enduring national pride that Australia played such an active and important role in helping the East Timorese secure independence.

And having done so, we promptly set about trying to screw them out of their oil and gas reserves.

Timor-Leste, it’s worth noting is one of the poorest nations on the planet, ranking 120 out of 169 countries in the United Nation’s Human Development Index.

Australia is ranked third.

Of course, our national contradictions are not just international in nature. We have plenty of homegrown ones as well. We’ve built a multicultural utopia, a system where people of all races and creeds live together harmoniously.

I work in Parramatta, Sydney. Walk down the street of the CBD any given day and in the space of a few minutes you’ll have passed people from dozens of different countries and cultures.

There’s no suicide bombings. There’s no rampant violence. Everybody goes about their business. It just works.

Yet at the same time, the level of overt racism and hostility towards these very same immigrants can be staggering.

We hate the ‘curry munchers who drive our cabs’ because they smell funny… and are prepared to work harder than we are. We hate the ‘slopeheads who take all the best spots at university’ because they look funny… and are prepared to work harder than we are.

This white angst has its roots in one ugly personality trait: greed. We want it all, and we want it now. We want to be seen to be a sharing nation, without actually having to share it too much.

People talk about kids these days being part of the ‘Me generation’. I think the argument is horseshit. Children today are smarter, more educated and more compassionate than we ever were.

The fact is, the ‘Me generation’ is not a generation at all – it’s a nation of people. Australian people.

We spend our days worrying that someone else might get more than we do. I believe I know the cause.

I’m not talking about  all ‘conservatives’ – the capital ‘L’ Liberal, for example, who believes in small government and modest change, but also human rights.

I’m talking about the nutter , the loony right-wingers who populate both our major political parties (and beyond), and who dominate the airwaves and the pages of our mainstream papers.

I call them ‘Big C’ conservatives.

They live miserable lives, and they’re determined that you should as well.

Big C conservatives are the scowlers of our society. If they’re not whipping people into a frenzy on some radio station about ‘some PC nonsense’, then they’re the ones phoning in to some radio station to complain about ‘some PC nonsense’.

But if you really want to get to know the Big C conservative, it helps to look at the sorts of social issues that get their knickers in a knot.

They’re the people who predicted native title would threaten the backyards of all Australians. Never happened.

They’re the people who suggested in 2006, when the Single Noongar Claim was handed down, that access to our beaches might be under threat. Never happened.

When land rights was introduced in NSW in 1983, the Big C conservatives howled and screamed that it would be the ruination of a nation. Never happened.

The Big C’s railed against a national apology for the better part of a decade, claiming it would lead to a flood of compensation claims. Never happened.

These are the same people who told you that Italians wouldn’t assimilate; that the Greeks would overrun the country; that the Vietnamese would form ghettos and never assimilate.

They hate Muslims, want to ban the burqa and believe Islam is a threat, as though Christianity is free from extremism. And they’re the same ranters who oppose things like a treaty with our First Nations, or a Bill of Rights, both of which are mechanisms designed – shock horror – to protect basic human rights for all.

And it’s not only helpful to look at what the Big C conservatives oppose. It’s also about what they support.

The Northern Territory intervention has been a disastrous policy for the Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments. And yet it still draws widespread support among the Big C’s today.

They wail ‘Who will think of the children’, having sat and done precisely nothing for decades while the adults of today – once also children – grew up in third world poverty in a first world nation.

Aboriginal affairs is littered with the policy corpses of bone stupid ideas from bone stupid Big C conservatives.

They’re the creators of the odious ‘Shared Responsibility Agreements’ and welfare quarantining. Remember the COAG trials. Run by Big C’s. Hindmarsh Island affair. Big C’s again.

If they had a marketing phrase to promote membership to their ranks, it would be this: ‘The Big C’s: exploiting Australian ignorance since Federation’.

Aboriginal people, more than any other group, have been the targets of these misinformation campaigns. But the most spectacular recent example of Big C conservatives getting it wrong on an important social issue lies in the debate around asylum seekers, one of the few groups of people on earth who could seriously compete with the Australian blackfella for the mantle of ‘world’s most disadvantaged’.

If you’ve never seen the SBS series Go Back Where You Came From, you must. It should be required viewing for all Australians.

It is the most impacting television series I’ve ever watched. You can watch it online for no cost at

At the risk of spoiling the ending, six Australians embarked on a 25-day journey to challenge their preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers.

“Tracing in reverse the journeys that refugees have taken to reach Australia, they travel to some of the most dangerous and desperate corners of the world,” said the show’s creators.

Each of the participants was chosen not because they were rednecks, but because they were ordinary Australians.

They just happened to have (with one exception) very extreme views. That, I’d argue, is what makes them ordinary Australians in the first place. With emphasis on the ‘ordinary’.

One of the women from the show, Raye Colby, expressed the view at the start of the series that it was a good thing refugees died en-masse at Christmas Island last year.

“Serves them bloody right,” she sneered.

Colby’s primary objection? That asylum seekers get fed and cared for by the Australian taxpayer, and – wait for it – have access to big screen TVs while in detention. But the capitulation of Colby and the others as the show unfolds is stunning.

The most startling turnaround for me was from Adam Hartup, a Cronulla lifeguard who admits to being present during the Cronulla race riots. Hartup began the show referring to asylum seekers as “these criminals” who come to Australia illegally.

Later in the series there’s footage of Hartup in an Iraqi hospital, dancing with men and boys missing arms and other body parts, the inevitable result of an illegal and immoral war in which Australia was an active participant.

It makes for gut-wrenching viewing.

Unsurprisingly, confronted with the reasons why people get on boats to come to Australia, Hartup completely reverses his view. But he hadn’t even left the country before he began questioning the popular Australian narrative – the Big C conservative spin – on asylum seekers.

What got Hartup thinking was a trip just 30 kilometres from his home, to the Villawood Detention Centre.

There, after just two hours talking to detainees, Hartup and his ‘average Australian’ view of the world was knocked for six.

“It shook me up a bit. Bit of a reality check actually,” said Hartup immediately after the meeting.

He quickly came to the view that getting on a leaky boat to Australia was an entirely reasonable response to the circumstances facing many asylum seekers.

Now here’s the rub. On issues like native title and land rights, it can sometimes take a decade or more for the scare campaigns of the Big C’s to be exposed for what they are. Unadulterated rubbish.

But for Adam Hartup, it took just two hours for the whole Big C conservative story that he’d swallowed hook, line and sinker to collapse.

Which brings me to the central point of this column: If the Big C conservatives always get this stuff wrong – and the passage of time shows they do – then why do we continue to allow them space in public discussion on key social issues?

Why do we listen when they play politics with the lives of asylum seekers and Aboriginal people?

And why do average Australians keep looking to Big C conservatives for their policy revelations on Aboriginal affairs? Why does media promote them?

Why do we believe that the people who always get it wrong, might one day get it right? Isn’t that the very definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome?

The fact is, it’s time to shut these people down, to ignore their shrieking on key social issues in public debate.

Dorothy McKellar’s poem about Australia is entitled ‘My Country’. It’s high time we took it back from the Big C’s.

* Chris Graham is the Managing Editor of Tracker magazine. He is a Walkley Award and Human Rights award winning journalist.


Voters Support On-Shore Processing

ONLY one in five Labor voters supports Julia Gillard’s desire to press ahead with sending asylum seekers offshore for processing as cabinet this morning considers legislation to get around the High Court’s decision striking down the Malaysia solution.

In The Age/Nielsen poll, 22 per cent of ALP voters said asylum seekers should be sent to another country to be assessed, 62 per cent said they should be allowed to land in Australia and processed here and 13 per cent took the hardest option of wanting the boats sent back to sea.
Coalition voters were also unenthusiastic about the offshore solution with only 32 per cent supporting it, 44 per cent saying people should be processed here and 19 per cent wanting them sent back to sea.

Greens voters were overwhelmingly in favour of Australian processing (83 per cent), with just 10 per cent favouring an offshore solution and 6 per cent wanting boats turned around.
Women are more likely than men to support processing in Australia (58 to 51 per cent) as are younger voters, with almost two-thirds of those aged 18-24 in favour compared with less than half of those over 55. Capital city voters were more likely to support local processing than those in regional areas (58 to 48 per cent).
A special cabinet meeting today will consider the form of proposed legislation before caucus meets at 9am. The government priority is to try to revive the Malaysia deal.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said cabinet would consider an amendment to the Migration Act. He said there were various ways this could be framed. It could be drafted to encompass three particular sites, one particular site, ”or indeed, [give] a broader discretion to the minister. They are essentially the drafting options,” he told Channel Ten.
At a faction meeting before the full caucus meeting, the left is expected to support onshore processing although it is not united. A left convener, Doug Cameron, said yesterday: ”The federal Labor Party should respect our obligations under the UN convention, the 2009 Labor platform and the High Court decision.”
With the Greens against any offshore processing, the fate of the legislation will rest with the opposition. It has declared itself strongly against the Malaysia people swap and wants processing in Nauru.
Internally there are different shades of opinion. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is said to be very much against allowing people to be sent to a country like Malaysia that is not a signatory to the UN convention and where Australia doesn’t control the processing.
Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison is said to have a more flexible attitude. The opposition’s final attitude will depend on the wording of the legislation and the outcome of internal debate among senior Coalition figures.

Read more:

I Say Debate, You Say Gotcha. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

By Greg Jericho

Last week before the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Immigration Detention Network, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship did something rather bold for a public servant – he suggested politicians question current policy.

How bold was Andrew Metcalfe? Here are some of the questions he posed:

How do we manage reception? By this I refer not only to the policy of mandatory detention, but refer to the broader issue of how we manage unauthorised arrivals at our border, and indeed how we manage our detention network? Does immigration detention facilitate case resolution? What range of facilities should be utilised? For how long is an immigration arrival and status determination process in a detention centre environment required? There are many questions for you, as parliamentarians, to consider.

So it was not like Metcalfe was entering the hairdressers and asking for a bit of a trim. Nope he went in, sat down and said, “I’m in the mood for something new – surprise me”.

And how did the politicians respond? Did they surprise anyone? Well that’d be a no.

Here was the Opposition Immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison:

“It is not in Australia’s interests for there to be any further confusion about the Government’s policy on asylum seekers.”

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen was also quick off the mark, a spokesman saying:

“The Government’s position is clear: mandatory detention is an essential component of border control and we make no apologies for detaining unauthorised arrivals for checks of health, identity and security risks to the community.”

Whew, that’s good. No need for debate, then. Even better is that we finally found an issue on which the ALP and Liberal Party are able to display some of that old fashioned bipartisanship. Here again is Morrison:

“Mr Metcalfe last night I think simply echoed the terms of reference for this inquiry.”

And Chris Bowen? A spokesman again:

“Mr Metcalfe was clearly referring to the inquiry’s terms of reference in relation to mandatory detention.”

Ah, so we have an inquiry but we are not to answer any of the questions posed because they are not really questions – merely echoes of the terms of reference. It rather makes you wonder about the whole point of the terms of reference, given they state the committee has been “appointed to inquire into and report on:

(g) the impact, effectiveness and cost of mandatory detention and any alternatives, including community release”

If “reporting on” and “inquiring into” means automatically rejecting doing anything, it rather reduces the degree of difficulty in the whole exercise doesn’t it?

Mandatory detention was of course brought in by the Keating Government in May 1992 in response to the massive flood of asylum seekers arriving by boat in the previous year. How many are we talking about? Try six boats and 214 people.

Yep – panic stations.

The passing of the bill didn’t really do a great deal. In 1992 there were another 216 people, down to 81 in 1993 and then nicely up to 953 in 1994. You can read about it all in the Parliamentary Library’s excellent Background Note: Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976.

Now you would think that one of the Key Performance Indicators of mandatory detention would be to halt the influx of asylum seekers – it must be otherwise Scott Morrison wouldn’t suggest that changing it “can send very significant messages to the people smuggling trade”.

However, if we have a look at the four years prior to mandatory detention going full scale, 624 asylum seekers arrived by boat. In the four year period afterwards, there were 2,182.

There’s nothing like seeing a policy meet a Key Performance Indicator is there?

But hey, I know you can prove anything with statistics, so I guess when the numbers increased to 921 in 1998-99 that was just another indicator of mandatory detention doing a bang-up job of halting asylum seekers coming by boat.

I know – it’s all just part of a bigger scheme and the introduction of Temporary Protection Visas in October 1999 did the trick. So the 4,175 that came in 1999-2000 or the 4,137 that came in 2001-02 was just another great example of a policy working well.

Ahh yes, but it was the off-shore processing that did the trick I hear you say. And yes it did knock the stuffing out of the numbers – but why would anyone think it would work again? Here was Tony Abbott describing Nauru in Parliament on June 16:

“I have seen where boat people will be accommodated—and well accommodated. I have seen where boat people’s children will be educated—and well educated. I have seen the police headquarters which will deal with security issues involving boat people in Nauru. And I can tell you this, Mr Speaker: there are no rattans in Nauru and there are no whipping posts in Nauru.”

Well accommodated, well educated, secure, no whipping posts.

Yep, a real deterrent.

But “off shore processing” is not mandatory detention, and while yes the public is firmly in favour of the policy – the latest Nielsen Poll on the issue showed 64 per cent of voters were in favour of mandatory detention – to think that politicians can’t even debate the issue for fear of looking “soft” is a bizarre reaction, when you consider that detention has been pretty comprehensively shown not to be any deterrent whatsoever.

Add to this, the president of the AMA, Dr Steve Hambleton also stated:

The AMA believes that the system of mandatory detention of asylum seekers is inherently harmful to the physical and mental health of detainees. The harm is especially acute in the case of children.

Did this provoke a need for either the Labor or the Liberal Party to “inquire” into mandatory detention? Err no.

Not debating issues has become the norm for contentious issues in recent times. It is part of a tactic which plays nicely into the standard media “gotcha” type questions.

We saw this in great occurrence earlier in the year on the carbon tax. Wayne Swan was asked about petrol and the carbon tax. He responded that it was inappropriate for people to suggest anything is included or excluded from the tax, given that it was still being formulated. The headline?”

Wayne Swan refuses to rule out petrol tax in proposed carbon tax.

When it came to dealing with the “tax forum” in October, Swan was much better prepared, and was ready to rule out anything that might actually ensure the tax forum discusses anything remotely like fundamental tax reform:

Negative gearing? Hell no.

GST? What – why on earth would you discuss at a tax forum the third-biggest tax in this country after income and company tax? That would just be silly and so Swan came out straight away when announcing the forum, stating:

I’ve made it abundantly clear what the Government’s position on the GST is – we are not touching its base or its rate. If people want to talk about it at the forum they can, but the policy of the Gillard Government is not to touch the base or the rate of the GST.

So yes – you can talk about it, we just rule out doing anything.

Unfortunately for Swan the tax forum discussion paper did include a congestion tax on the agenda. And so we got on the front page of The Daily Telegraph:

Second Wave of a Tax

More levies on horizon could add to carbon woes

STILL reeling from the announcement of a carbon tax, drivers could be hit by another wave of green-induced financial pain.

A string of new taxes are on the agenda, with the federal government exploring more options to hit taxpayers where it hurts. A road congestion tax, designed to limit the use of cars on city streets.

This was despite Swan actually having already ruled it out (even ruling things out isn’t enough at times).

It is thus no surprise that politicians have become too scared to even enter into debate on an issue. Rationality is discarded even before the conversation has begun – talk of any contentious issues quickly becomes an intention to implement.

Interestingly, even sections of the media have caught this disease. When at the National Press Club in July, Julia Gillard said in response to a question about a media inquiry that she would “be happy to sit down with the parliamentarians and discuss that review that people are contemplating”. The Australian responded the next day suggesting “This is no time for PM to bow to Brown”, with Dennis Shanahan writing:

Media inquiries into convergence, ownership, market share, service delivery, public-private control, ethics and its very “role” are messy, disruptive and difficult enough to conduct in a calm atmosphere with a stable and mature government.

Ahh so they’re messy. Best not inquire then – especially when we have editorials, opinion pieces and front page stories all telling us that there is nothing to see, move on.

I guess while The Australian can write:

When bureaucrats complain about being held to account the rest of us start wondering what they have got to hide

such a sense of wonder does not apply when media organisations complain about being held to account…

And so the tactic of no debate has a strong hold over political and media discourse (or lack of it). No debate means no possibility of change – especially if such change may be unpopular for a Government, or (even worse) may lead to a conclusion the Government, or opposition, or media organisations want.

This however is not the only tactic for stopping conclusions and decision. The other is that of constant debate. And for the issue that most sees this tactic employed climate change and a price on carbon has no peer. Yes small things will be ruled out but for those opposing a carbon price, the debate must continue – for the time is not ripe, the Government needs to discuss things with the premiers, with industry, with farmers, with the electorate (or God help us with a community forum), the science is not settled, we need another election, we need to wait for America, for China, for the next UN summit.

But at some stage you need to stop talking and act.

On the weekend I read this interesting statement about pricing carbon:

By far the most efficient and effective way to spur conservation is to raise the cost of fossil fuels. Current prices fail to reflect the very real environmental costs of pumping carbon dioxide into the air. The answer is a tax on CO2 emissions – or a CO2 user fee, if that is a more palatable term. The fee need not raise a country’s overall tax burden; it could be offset by reductions in income taxes or other levies.

Now I know such a line does not seem all that interesting – after all it essentially mirrors what Julia Gillard and Greg Combet have been saying all year. What is interesting is that quote came from Time Magazine in January 1989. Twenty two years ago.

Debate is good and we need to move past the reflex fear that even discussing an issue means implementation and change. But at some point you need to call time and make a decision.

Otherwise we might as well save everyone a lot of time and rule out everything now.

Greg Jericho is an amateur blogger who spends too much of his spare time writing about politics and not enough time watching all the DVDs he buys each weekend.

Public Poll Shows Majority of Australians Support Asylum Seekers

Phillip Coorey
August 16, 2011

MORE than half the population believes asylum seekers arriving by boat should be landed and processed in Australia, contradicting the policies of the two main parties, which advocate processing in a third country, a poll finds.

The latest Herald/Nielsen poll of 1400 people was taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, after the High Court imposed an injunction on the Malaysia plan.
The poll finds 53 per cent of voters preferred that asylum seekers arriving by boat be allowed to land in Australia to be assessed.

Only 28 per cent felt they should be sent to another country for assessment, the approach of Labor and the Coalition, while 15 per cent said the arrivals should be ”sent back out to sea”.

Of those who thought asylum seekers should be processed in Australia, 55 per cent thought they should be held in detention while being processed, and 41 per cent thought they should be allowed to live in the community.

Half of those who opted for assessment in Australia or a third country thought those found to be refugees should be allowed to settle in Australia permanently.

The Greens are the only party that advocates processing asylum seekers in Australia. The government’s policy centres on Malaysia and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, while the Coalition would send the asylum seekers to Nauru.

A Labor MP from Victoria, Anna Burke, spoke out yesterday against her party’s Malaysia plan. ”I’m very concerned that we can’t really guarantee the safety of the individuals, the 800 who will be sent there,” she told the ABC.


Middle Easterners – Assaulting Our Women?

(taken from a conversation about how Middle Eastern men [see: all Muslims…] are the only ones responsible for rape and abuse towards women in Australia.

Change your mind:

The Women’s Safety Survey was conducted in 1995 and published by the ABS in 1996. The survey relied on face-to-face interviews with a random sample of approximately 6,300 women in Australia, aged 18 years and over, who were living in a private dwelling in urban and rural Australia (non-English speaking women were interviewed over the phone with the assistance of an interpreter). The survey investigated women’s experiences of physical and sexual violence in the last 12 months, and since the age of 15. It was estimated that, of women living in Australia aged 18 and over:

  • 100,000 (1.5%) experienced an incident of sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the study.
  • 99% of the perpetrators of sexual violence incidents experienced in the 12 months prior to the survey were men.
  • Women in the 18-24 year age bracket were more likely to be assaulted than women in other age-groups: 19% of women aged 18-24 had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months, compared with 6.8% of women aged 35-44 and 1.2% of women aged 55 and over.
  • Only 15% of women who identified an incident of sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the survey reported to police.
  • An estimated 1.2 million women in Australia aged 18 and over had experienced sexual violence or its threat since the age of 15. More specifically, one in six adult women in Australia had experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 years.
  • 45% of women sexually assaulted since the age of 15 had experienced more than one incident.
  • Sexual assaults occurring since the age of 15 were most commonly committed by a man known to the victim, and usually occurred in a home.
  • 1 in 10 women who had ever been in a relationship disclosed an incident of sexual violence by an intimate partner.

(the evidence)

Experiences across women’s lifetimes (IVAWS)

  • Over half of the women surveyed (57%) had experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence over their lifetime.
  • More than a third of women (34%) had experienced this violence from a former or current partner, although violence from a former partner was more common, and more likely to result in women being injured and feeling that their lives were in danger.
  • 12% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner (current or former) over their lifetimes, including instances of attempted (3%) and completed (6%) forced intercourse (i.e. rape).
  • Women who had experienced sexual violence by their intimate partners were also likely to have been physically abused by them (73%).
  • 18% of women reported being sexually abused before the age of 16: almost 2% of women identified parents (fathers in all but two cases) as the perpetrators, while a further 16% identified someone other than a parent. The results suggest that the risk of sexual violence in adulthood doubles for women who experience child abuse.
  • 27% of women reported sexual violence by non-intimates such as other close family members, relatives, friends, colleagues and strangers (although a number of women reported violence from both intimate partners and others). 7% of these women reported attempted forced intercourse and 4 percent reported forced intercourse over their lifetime.
  • Only 1% of the women surveyed identified having been raped by a stranger.

Who is at risk of rape?

Although people of all ages and cultures are vulnerable to sexual assault, there are some who are at particularly higher risk. These are:

  • Prisoners
  • Victims of war
  • Refugees
  • Adolescents
  • Injecting drug users (IDUs)
  • Elderly
  • Individuals who have experienced assault as children
  • People with mental or physical disabilities

(the evidence)

# 1   South Africa: 1.19538 per 1,000 people
# 2   Seychelles: 0.788294 per 1,000 people
# 3   Australia: 0.777999 per 1,000 people
# 4   Montserrat: 0.749384 per 1,000 people
# 5   Canada: 0.733089 per 1,000 people
# 6   Jamaica: 0.476608 per 1,000 people
# 7   Zimbabwe: 0.457775 per 1,000 people
# 8   Dominica: 0.34768 per 1,000 people
# 9   United States: 0.301318 per 1,000 people
# 10   Iceland: 0.246009 per 1,000 people
# 11   Papua New Guinea: 0.233544 per 1,000 people
# 12   New Zealand: 0.213383 per 1,000 people
# 13   United Kingdom: 0.142172 per 1,000 people
# 14   Spain: 0.140403 per 1,000 people
# 15   France: 0.139442 per 1,000 people
# 16   Korea, South: 0.12621 per 1,000 people
# 17   Mexico: 0.122981 per 1,000 people
# 18   Norway: 0.120836 per 1,000 people
# 19   Costa Rica: 0.118277 per 1,000 people
# 20   Venezuela: 0.115507 per 1,000 people
# 21   Finland: 0.110856 per 1,000 people
# 22   Netherlands: 0.100445 per 1,000 people
# 23   Denmark: 0.0914948 per 1,000 people
# 24   Germany: 0.0909731 per 1,000 people
# 25   Bulgaria: 0.0795973 per 1,000 people
# 26   Chile: 0.0782179 per 1,000 people
# 27   Thailand: 0.0626305 per 1,000 people
# 28   Kyrgyzstan: 0.0623785 per 1,000 people
# 29   Poland: 0.062218 per 1,000 people
# 30   Sri Lanka: 0.0599053 per 1,000 people
# 31   Hungary: 0.0588588 per 1,000 people
# 32   Estonia: 0.0547637 per 1,000 people
# 33   Ireland: 0.0542829 per 1,000 people
# 34   Switzerland: 0.0539458 per 1,000 people
# 35   Belarus: 0.0514563 per 1,000 people
# 36   Uruguay: 0.0512295 per 1,000 people
# 37   Lithuania: 0.0508757 per 1,000 people
# 38   Malaysia: 0.0505156 per 1,000 people
# 39   Romania: 0.0497089 per 1,000 people
# 40   Czech Republic: 0.0488234 per 1,000 people
# 41   Russia: 0.0486543 per 1,000 people
# 42   Latvia: 0.0454148 per 1,000 people
# 43   Moldova: 0.0448934 per 1,000 people
# 44   Colombia: 0.0433254 per 1,000 people
# 45   Slovenia: 0.0427648 per 1,000 people
# 46   Italy: 0.0402045 per 1,000 people
# 47   Portugal: 0.0364376 per 1,000 people
# 48   Tunisia: 0.0331514 per 1,000 people
# 49   Zambia: 0.0266383 per 1,000 people
# 50   Ukraine: 0.0244909 per 1,000 people
# 51   Slovakia: 0.0237525 per 1,000 people
# 52   Mauritius: 0.0219334 per 1,000 people
# 53   Turkey: 0.0180876 per 1,000 people
# 54   Japan: 0.017737 per 1,000 people
# 55   Hong Kong: 0.0150746 per 1,000 people
# 56   India: 0.0143187 per 1,000 people
# 57   Qatar: 0.0139042 per 1,000 people
# 58   Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of: 0.0132029 per 1,000 people
# 59   Greece: 0.0106862 per 1,000 people
# 60   Georgia: 0.0100492 per 1,000 people
# 61   Armenia: 0.00938652 per 1,000 people
# 62   Indonesia: 0.00567003 per 1,000 people
# 63   Yemen: 0.0038597 per 1,000 people
# 64   Azerbaijan: 0.00379171 per 1,000 people
# 65   Saudi Arabia: 0.00329321 per 1,000 people
Weighted average: 0.1 per 1,000 people


No Bank Robberies Have Been Made in a Burqa?

Change your mind:

No Australian banks have been robbed by anyone wearing a burqa, ever.

Note: using the word ‘queer’ is irrelevant. There are a lot of straight people who realise that the burqa has never been used in an Australian bank robbery.

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