High ‘drop-off’ rate of sexual offences through the justice system revealed

3 September, 2021

Only one in seven incidents of sexual offending reported to police progress through the justice system to be proven in court, research released today by the Crime Statistics Agency shows.

The study found most alleged sexual offence incidents do not progress past police investigation, with police identifying an offender for half of incidents reported to them and charging an offender for one in four.

The research showed one in five sexual offence incidents reported to police was withdrawn by the victim survivor prior to the conclusion of police investigation.

Rape incidents were the least likely to progress through the justice system, with 10% of rape incidents reported to police proven in court, compared with 15% of indecent assault incidents.

Overall, incidents where the perpetrator was a stranger, that involved other, non-sexual offences, and that occurred in regional Victoria, were more likely to progress through the justice system.

For more information:

The paper Attrition of sexual offence incidents through the Victorian criminal justice system: 2021 update is available here.

The media release for this paper is available here.