George Brandis

Australians believe racial and religious abuse and violence is on the rise -- though some voters are more likely to see it than others, this week's Essential Report shows.

More than half of voters -- 52% -- believe racial abuse or violence has increased in recent years; another 27% believe it has stayed the same; just 12% say it has decreased. And 59% of voters believe abuse or violence based on religion has grown worse, with 9% saying it has lessened and 21% believing it remains unchanged. In contrast, 33% of voters believe homophobic abuse or violence has grown worse while 29% believe it has lessened.