UK Rape Study: Few Sex Offenders Convicted

Rape Study: Few Sex Offenders Convicted

STOP-RAPE-NOW

A rape victim has told Sky News that newly compiled figures are a “sad indictment” of the way sexual assault victims are treated in England and Wales.

For the first time, a range of official figures have been brought together which reveal that despite there being up to 95,000 rapes every year – just 1,070 victims see their attacker brought to justice.

The figures show that every year around 473,000 people are the victims of a sexual offence – which  includes the most serious crimes such as rape and other offences such as flashing.

But only 54,000 sexual offences are recorded by police and only 5,620 offenders are convicted, according to the study.

Just 15% of women reported the sexual offence to the police, with the most common reasons cited for not coming forward being “embarrassing”, “didn’t think the police could do much to help”, “too trivial” and “private matter”, according to the joint study by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Office for National Statistics.

The CPS said the number of convictions for crimes involving violence against women and girls was rising.

“In 2007-8 the CPS prosecuted 75,000 cases involving violence against women and girls. By 2011-12 that number was 91,000,” id Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said in a speech last year.

“Over the same period the number of convictions rose from 52,000 to almost 67,000.

“Proportionally this is our highest conviction rate on record for these crimes. In rape prosecutions there has been a four percentage point increase in the conviction rate in the last year alone.

“All this means 15,000 more offenders are now brought to justice in a year than just four years ago.”

The new statistics come amid worldwide outrage over a gang rape and murder case in India.

The Crisis in Rape Crisis

Rape Crisis centres are closing at an alarming rate because of a lack of funding. In 1984 there were 68 Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales – today there are just 38 centres affiliated to Rape Crisis (England and Wales). Nine Rape Crisis centres have closed since 2003 and many more face an uncertain future.

While Rape Crisis centres have always been marginalised and suffered from underinvestment, the sector, en masse, is now at crisis point.

Research by WRC and Rape Crisis (England and Wales)reveals that Rape Crisis centres are spectacularly under-funded. In-depth interviews with 35 Rape Crisis centres explore their funding and sustainability, service users, staffing and political and public awareness of the work of Rape Crisis centres.

Key findings from this research include:

  • The combined annual income for Rape Crisis centres in 2006-07 was just over £3.5m. The government spent more than twice this amount on advertising and public relations each week in 2004-05.

  • The average annual income for Rape Crisis centres was £81,598, only marginally more than the cost, to the state, of one rape.

  • 69% of centres identified that they were unsustainable in the future.

  • 79% of grants they received were for one year or less.

  • Only 21% of services provided by Rape Crisis are fully funded.

  • The total number of average days spent on waiting lists equals 1,929 days – or 5.3 years.

  • Rape Crisis is a crucial support service for women with historic experiences of sexual violence (such as childhood sexual abuse), with over three-quarters of service users having experiences of sexual violence that occurred in the past.

Find a rape crisis centre near you

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Click link above for rapecrisis website

If you have been affected by sexual violence of any kind we can help you.

All our centres offer a safe and non-judgmental environment where you can talk freely and confidentially.

Rape Crisis Centres provide a telephone helpline service for women and girls who are survivors of rape, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment or any form of sexual violence.

You can contact any of the help lines to talk to someone and they will support you in finding out what is available in your area. Please be aware that most lines are only staffed at certain times of the week due to limited resources.

Or you can call the national helpline to speak to a trained counsellor and who can tell you where your nearest centre is if you would like face to face counselling and support.

Call us in confidence:

Freephone 0808 802 99 99

Lines are open 12n-2.30pm /7pm-9.30 every day    

Myths & facts

Rape is a subject which most people find uncomfortable. For women it conjures up all kinds of images. Some of us will think of dirty old men in plastic coats, or a monster too gross to think about. Others will have more specific ideas about rape, perhaps thinking about a certain group of men such as ‘weirdo’s in dark alleys.

Rape and sexual assault happen far more often than statistics indicate.

The majority of women in society fear rape – no woman is allowed to ignore it. The majority of children are taught to be afraid of ‘strange men’ who offer us sweets, lifts, etc. We are taught as adults to keep our doors locked, not to be alone, not to look or act in any way that might ‘bring rape upon ourselves’. Perhaps the most obvious situation in which we are taught to be afraid is when walking home alone at night. The threat of violence is a total intrusion into women’s personal space and transforms a routine and / or potential pleasurable activity (for example, a walk in the park, a quiet evening at home, a long train journey) into a potentially upsetting, disturbing and often threatening experience.

Rape myths give people a false sense of security by minimising and / or denying the occurrence of sexual violence. They accomplish this by blaming the victim and making excuses for the perpetrator. In effect these myths perpetuate sexual violence because they play a powerful part in defining responses to rape and create an excuse not to address the realities of sexual violence.

It’s much more common than people think.

Around 21% of girls and 11% of boys experience some form of child sexual abuse. 23% of women and 3% of men experience sexual assault as an adult. 5% of women and 0.4% of men experience rape. (Cross Government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abusehttp://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/ Sexual-violence-action-plan)

It represents a form of gender inequality.

Most perpetrators are male and most victims are female. It is both a consequence and cause of gender inequality.

It causes fear in communities.

Women are more worried about rape than any other crime

It can cause severe and long lasting harm to victims.

Direct physical health consequences of sexual violence and child sexual abuse include physical injury, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Long-term consequences of sexual violence and child sexual abuse include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, social phobia, substance abuse, obesity, eating disorders, self harm and suicide, domestic violence and in some cases, offending behaviour. Child abuse can also impact on educational attainment and school attendance.

…and to society.

The overall cost to society of sexual offences in 2003-04 was estimated at £8.5 billion, with each rape costing over £76,000. Much of this cost is made up of lost output and costs to the health service resulting from long term health issues faced by victims.

Victims don’t always get the support they need.

40% of adults who are raped tell no one about it. 31% of children who are abused reach adulthood without having disclosed their abuse. This means that victims don’t get the support they need to deal with the abuse or violence they have experienced.

It is an important and dangerous element of domestic violence.

Many people believe that adult sexual violence and child sexual abuse is normally committed by a stranger. In fact, perpetrators are normally known to the victim and many are partners or family members. Rape is associated with the most severe cases of domestic violence, and is a risk factor for domestic homicide.

Offenders have been getting away with it..

Only 15% of serious sexual offences against people 16 and over are reported to the police and of the rape offences that are reported, fewer than 6% result in an offender being convicted of this offence. This means that those who commit these very serious crimes may continue to pose a risk to the public.

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