THE Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a four-year high in sexual assault reports last year, on the back of greater awareness created by Royal Commission into child sexual assault, according to executive officer Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) Karen Willis.
Almost 20,000 sexual assaults were reported in police in 2013, this is an increase of 8 percent on the previous year.
NSW saw an increase of 11 percent since 2012- an increase is quite a positive thing Ms Willis said at the launch Sexual Assault Counselling Australia in Dubbo.
"This is great news, because what we know is that only 17 per cent of people who experience sexual assault report it to police," she said.
"We know it's really difficult for victims to come forward."
"Often people don't disclose the sexual assault they experienced and sometimes people don't remember it," counsellor and RDVSA Laura Ansourian said.
"If they did the numbers may be higher."
Orana Local Area Command police inspector Gemini Bakos said incidents are bucking the trends in a good way.
"We are now seeing a greater willingness to report child sexual abuse than ever before," she said.
"Last year a Bureau of Crime Statistics report showed that reported sexual assaults across the state have risen by 130 per cent since the 1990s.
"All the more telling when you contrast that against the general fall of crime rates in other crime categories."
Statistically almost two-thirds of people who reported sexual assault last year were 19 or younger, the ABS reported.
Experts suggest these people could be encouraged to come forward by the highly publicised cases within the Royal Commission.
Ms Willis said the RDVSA have already experienced an outstanding response to their services and this number should only continue to rise.
"Most that we have been approached by in the first 12 months have already been counselled, I suspect there are many that are yet to come," she said.
"Somewhere over the next 12 months as more people are made aware of our services we suspect more people should come forward.
"If you are stuck or know someone in a situation, ring, give them support and provide them with the opportunity to have that discussion."
RDVSA provide telephone counselling, online support and face to face counselling.
Visit rape-dvservices.org.au for more information.