Content Warning: This story discusses child sexual assault and may be distressing to some readers.
The University of New South Wales has revealed damning research on the prevalence of child sexual abuse by Australian men — and the results are truly horrifying. The nationally representative findings show that 1 in 6 Australian men reported having sexual feelings towards children, 1 in 10 Australian men have sexually abused a child, and 1 in 15 Australian men admit that they would have sexual contact with a child aged 14 or younger if no one was to find out.
The results are shocking, but for many, they're not necessarily surprising. It's a devastating reality that women often know all too well; that seemingly universal experience of being catcalled more frequently as a child wearing a school uniform than as a fully grown adult.
Refinery29 Australia spoke to nine Australian women anonymously, who shared how old they were when they first started receiving negative attention from men. The responses are devastating.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence and is in need of support, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Service.