Non-volitional Sex: Findings from the 2014/15 New Zealand Health Survey

Published online: 
15 November 2019
Non-volitional Sex.

This report describes New Zealanders that have been made to have sex against their will, referred to as non-volitional sex. It covers their age at the most recent non-volitional sex and their relationship with the perpetrator.

Over 10,000 respondents aged 16–74 years completed the sexual and reproductive health module in the 2014/15 Health Survey.

Use our Sexual and Reproductive Health Data Explorer to see the results from the 2014/15 Health Survey.

If you have any queries please email [email protected].

Overview of key findings

  • Sex against an individual’s will after the age of 13, referred to in this document as non-volitional sex, has been experienced by many more women (one in nine) than men (one in 30) aged 16–74 years; over half of these experiences occurred when the people concerned were teenagers.
  • Māori men and women were more likely to have experienced non-volitional sex than non-Māori, and Asian women were less likely than non-Asian women to have experienced it.
  • Women currently living in the most deprived areas were more likely than those in the least deprived areas to have experienced non-volitional sex.
  • Women and men mostly knew the perpetrator of their most recent experience of non-volitional sex, either as a former or current intimate partner (34 percent of women, 16 percent of men), a family member or friend (26 percent of women, 31 percent of men), or as an acquaintance (22 percent of women, 28 percent of men).
  • Among Māori and Pacific women, the most recent perpetrator was more likely to have been a family member or friend than it was for non-Māori and non-Pacific women.

Go to Sexual and reproductive health to find out what’s being done in this area.

Related publications

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    15 November 2019
  • ISBN:
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2019. Non-volitional Sex: Findings from the 2014/15 New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

Back to top