It’s much closer to home than people think
In Luton sexual offences are 1.7 per 1000 of the population, which is higher than the national average of 1.0 per 1000 of the population. (Data is supplied by the Home Office based on data collected by police forces in England and Wales between 2008 and 2009).
In the latest statistics from NICE (2013) state that as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 11 men have or will experienced domestic violence and 1 in 4 women have or will experience sexual assault.
Facts and Figures from Rape Crisis (England and Wales) outline the following:
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 Abuse 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 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.