According to a report that recorded the types of child abuse reported in Australian states and territories in 2011–12, there were 48,420 substantiated cases of child endangerment, of which 5,828 were cases of sexual abuse.
Evidence from reports indicate that the majority of sexual assaults in Australia are undertaken by perpetrators who knew the victim. According to a 2009 report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 42% of sexual assaults reported to law enforcement agencies in Australia that year took place against children under the age of 14; this statistic includes sexual assaults that adults said were committed against them when they were under the age of 14. The percentage of cases in which the child had a familial relationship with the perpetrator were: 26% of cases in southern Australia, over 20% of cases in the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, 39% of cases in New South Wales, and 30% of cases in Queensland.
Child sexual abuse has been connected to later emotional and behavioural problems in victims, and to an increased tendency toward alcoholism, depression, mental illness, and suicide. In 2007 the Queensland Children's Commission reported that "[s]ome 70% of psychiatric patients are known to have been sexually abused as children". A study carried out in 27 prisons in New South Wales found that 65% of male and female prisoners had been sexually and physically abused as children.
Dante Arthurs (b. 1984) – raped and murdered a child in a shopping centre in 2007. Sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.
Robert Bropho (1930–2011) – an Australian Aboriginal rights activist and convicted serial child sex offender from Perth, Western Australia. He was jailed for three years in 2008; however, the Court of Appeals extended the term to six years. He died while serving a six-year sentence.
Michael Guider (b. 1950) – sentenced for multiple instances of child sexual assault.
Steve Randell (b. 1956) – former Australian Test cricket match umpire whose cricket and professional careers ended when he was convicted in August 1999 of 15 separate counts of sexual assault against nine schoolgirls between 1981 and 1982. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a two-year minimum, and was released on parole in May 2002.
Brian Keith Jones (b. 1947) – in 1981, he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years. In 2006, he was sentenced to an indefinite term for breaching the parole conditions.
Robert 'Dolly' Dunn (1941–2009) – a school teacher working for the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious order. He had committed 24 sexual offences against young boys over a 10-year period to 1995. Charges also included three drug charges. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 22 and a half years.
Dennis Ferguson (1948–2012) – in 1988, he kidnapped and sexually abused three children, and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
William Kamm (b. 1950) – religions cult leader, convicted of child sexual abuse, sentenced to five years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a girl.