Men victim to assault by strangers: study

Gemma Najem

Men are more likely to be assaulted by a stranger than women, with a significant number of cases involving multiple attackers, a new report has found.

Out of the 19,000 plus people hospitalised because of an assault in Australia in 2014-15, three quarters were men and boys, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Rates of assault requiring hospital treatment were highest for men aged between 20-24, with the highest proportion of cases involving an attack by multiple strangers occurring among men aged 15-24.

The data, released on Wednesday, shows one third of assault cases among men (36 per cent) were at the hands of an unknown attacker, compared to about one in 14 for women.

One in five assaults on men were committed by more than one attacker, with the most common location being a street followed by a cafe, hotel or restaurant.

The main cause of injury was assault by bodily force (61 per cent, or 7732 cases), followed by assault by sharp object (13 per cent, or 1672 cases).

The report, titled "Hospitalised assault injuries among men and boys", shows 54 per cent of cases did not specify the relationship between the perpetrator and victim.

But the majority of known attacks were perpetrated by a person known to the victim (64 per cent), with a family member being the most common attacker (28 per cent), followed by acquaintances or friends (20 per cent).