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Rape and sexual assault statistics

With so many myths surrounding sexual violence and abuse, it can sometimes be hard to know what to believe.

Here are key statistics from trusted sources that show the scale of the problem in England and Wales.

Where did we get these statistics from?

How many people are raped, sexually assaulted and sexually abused?

  • 1 in 4women

    have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult

    (6.54 million women in total)

  • 1 in 6children

    have been sexually abused

  • 1 in 18men

    have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult

    (1.34 million men in total)

68,387 rapes

were recorded by police in 2023.

By the end of 2023, charges had been brought in just 2.6% (1,778) of cases. In other words...

Fewer than 3 in 100 rapes recorded by police in 2023 resulted in someone being charged that same year

Let alone convicted.

A gold statue of Lady Liberty sits atop the Old Bailey building in London. The Old Bailey is the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.

And survivors face long waits for their cases to reach a courtroom

After being reported to the police, adult rape cases take an average of 2 years to complete in court – with many taking far longer.

Meanwhile, there's currently a record number of sexual offence cases that are waiting to go to court: 10,141

And a record number of adult rape cases: 2,786

Join our campaign to cut waiting times
An older woman sits at a table with her head in her hands. Her glasses sit on the table in front of her.

Who carries out rape and other sexual offences?

(It might not be who you'd think.)

  • 1 in 2rapes against women

    are carried out by their partner or ex-partner

  • 91%of people prosecuted for sexual offences

    are men aged 18+

  • 6 in 7rapes against women

    are carried out by someone they know

But most survivors don't report it to the police

5 in 6 women who are raped don’t report – and the same is true for 4 in 5 men.

Lots of these survivors tell someone else what happened. So, why don't they tell the police?

40% said ‘embarrassment’

38% said they didn’t think the police could help

34% said they thought it would be humiliating

Three policemen stand outside with their backs to the camera. They are all wearing high-vis police jackets and police hats.

6.5 million

women in England and Wales

have been raped or sexually assaulted since the age of 16.

9 in 10 girls and young women in schools say:

Sexist name-calling and being sent unwanted 'dick pics' or other images of a sexual nature happens to them or other girls and young women their age.

How can this impact girls and young women?
A teenage girl walks down a school corridor. She is wearing a denim jacket and has a backpack slung over one of her shoulders. The photo is taken from the back so we can't see her face.

1 in 2 adult survivors of rape have experienced it more than once.

A sexual violence pandemic

How many women are raped or sexually assaulted every year?


That's 1 in 30 women. So, probably at least one woman you know was raped or sexually assaulted in the last 12 months.

*This figure is for the year ending March 2022.

Learn about rape culture
A blurred group of women marching at a protest. Some women are holding up signs, but only one can be read: 'My little black dress doesn't mean yes'.

End rape culture

1 in 3 adults who are raped experience it in their own home

That's why telling women not to walk home by themselves late at night won't fix the sexual violence pandemic.

We must demand an end to gender inequality and to rape culture.

Help us to demand change
A woman sits on her bed with a pillow on her knees. Her head rests on the pillow so that we cannot see her face.


Help us save Rape Crisis centres from funding crisis

We're calling on all political parties to commit to adequate and sustainable funding for specialist support services.

Will you join us in demanding that the next government makes supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse a priority?

Find out more about our election demands

Sign our petition
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Media enquiries

If you're a journalist and would like comment from us on any of these statistics – or more information about the reality of sexual violence and abuse in England and Wales – please contact us.


Please note that this address is not staffed 24 hours but a member of our team will respond as quickly as possible.