LGB+ community experiences higher levels of victimisation than the national average

Bisexual New Zealanders experience the highest levels of crime and sexual violence, according to te Tāhū o te Ture - the Ministry of Justice’s latest study, Experience of Crime by Sexual Orientation. The study uses data collected from the Ministry’s annual New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey (NZCVS) to compile its results.

The study found that 68 percent of bisexual adults will experience interpersonal sexual violence at some time in their lives, compared to the national average of 29 percent.

Tim Hampton, Ministry of Justice’s Deputy Secretary Sector, says this is an astonishing figure that shows for the first time the disproportionate level of victimisation towards the LGB+ community. “We hope our report will create awareness and a responsiveness to LGB+ experiences of family violence and sexual violence.”

The study also found that 47 percent of bisexual adults are likely to experience crime over a 12-month period, compared with 30 percent for the national average.

Lesbian or gay adults will experience more than double the rate of sexual violence from their partners at 33 percent, compared to an average of 16 percent across all of Aotearoa.

“I’m pleased that the Ministry’s New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey continues to shine a light on the nature of unreported crime in Aotearoa,” Tim Hampton says. “As each of our general and topical reports show, there are many vulnerable communities that need our focus and support when it comes to crime and victimisation, and the LGB+ community is certainly one of them.”

Agencies across the justice sector are working in partnership with Aotearoa’s rainbow community to improve services and support for those who identify as LGBTTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Takatapui, Queer, Intersex, Asexual). 

New Zealand Police has established several initiatives to support the rainbow community, including nationwide diversity liaison officers; undertaking rainbow awareness training; improving how it collects information about hate crime; and developing an information pamphlet for rainbow community abuse survivors.

The Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework encourages agencies to build relationships with local rainbow community groups and understand the risks and challenges for rainbow community abuse survivors.

As well as the 'Experience of crime by sexual orientation' publication, the Ministry is also releasing two more publications, 'Victimisation of adults with psychological distress' and 'Victimisation of young adults'. All publications use data from the latest cycle of the NZCVS, which is New Zealand’s largest and most comprehensive survey of crime.

The NZCVS involves interviewing 8,000 randomly selected New Zealanders over the age of 15 each year about their experiences of crime in the previous 12 months. Unlike other sources, which capture data such as reported crime, the NZCVS also captures unreported crime which makes it the only survey comprehensively reflecting victims of crime experience.

The Ministry chose these three topics because sexual orientation, psychological distress and young age are important factors which increase risk of victimisation, and we want to shine a light on these communities and the experiences they face.

For more information on these study results, see our Ministry of Justice website:
New Zealand Crime & Victims Survey resources and results 

For more information about the initiatives highlighted in this story, see:

Ministry of Justice New Zealand Crime & Victims Survey

New Zealand Police diversity liaison officers(external link)

New Zealand Police Annual Report on Police Data Quality(external link)

New Zealand Police rainbow communities pamphlet(external link)

Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework [PDF, 2.5 MB]

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