Only one in six women who were subject to a serious sexual assault reported it to the police, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
There were almost four times as many female victims as there were male, according to statistics to the year ending March 2020, and men were more likely to report the crimes than women. Overall, the number of crimes had fallen on the previous year.
“These figures show the scale of sexual violence that women face,” said Sarah Jones MP, Labour’s Shadow Policing and Fire Minister, in a statement. “It’s unacceptable that so few victims feel able to come forward and so many perpetrators are escaping justice.”
Less than one in six (16%) female victims and less than one in five (19%) male victims aged 16 to 59 years of sexual assault by rape or penetration since the age of 16 years reported it to the police https://t.co/3Ai3EkTahFpic.twitter.com/jLv7HfIKUa
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) March 18, 2021
Violence against women and girls has drawn protests and strong words in Parliament in recent weeks after Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive living in London, vanished while walking home from a friend’s house on the evening of March 3. A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with her kidnap and murder, although he was not on duty at the time of her disappearance.
Dozens of marches were organised to protest violence against women and girls under the banner Reclaim These Streets but were cancelled after police refused to rule out fines for organisers and attendees for breaking coronavirus restrictions.