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Four in ten Australians think sexual assault accusations are a way of getting back at men

That’s according to the National Community Attitudes Survey (NCAS) on violence against women, which was released yesterday.

The same proportion believe women “make up” claims of abuse when going through child custody battles.

But research shows that false allegations are rare; in fact, nine out of ten women who have been sexually assaulted don’t report it to the police.

NCAS is a comprehensive, nation wide survey conducted by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), involving 17,500 phone interviews with a representative sample of Australians aged 16 years and older, and looks at the way our attitudes towards violence against women has changed over the years.

CEO of ANROWS, Dr Heather Nancarrow, tells John this misinformation about sexual assault against women is making it harder for women.

But, there’s been a lot of improvement when it comes to our knowledge, understanding and attitude towards violence against women are improving. The vast majority of Australians don’t endorse such violence, and don’t endorse attitudes that foster them. We’re also more willing to speak up when we witness something.

When asked whether there’s a risk of the issue being turned into a battle of the sexes, per se, Dr Nancarrow says there is, when information isn’t disseminated properly.

“Men are more likely to experience violence in public places, but women are more at risk in the home.”

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