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Statistics about sexual violence and abuse

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

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

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

  • 1 in 4women

    have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult

  • 1 in 6children

    have been sexually abused

  • 1 in 20men

    have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult

The highest ever number of rapes was recorded by police in the year ending March 2022:

70,330

In that same time period, charges

were brought in just 2,223 rape cases.

A failing justice system

Only 1 in 100 rapes recorded by police in 2021

resulted in a charge that same year – let alone a conviction.

Despite high rates of rape and an increase in reporting in recent years, charging and conviction rates remain among the lowest since records began.

Help us to demand change
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.

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

  • 98%of adults prosecuted for sexual offences

    are men

  • 5 in 6rapes against women

    are carried out by someone they know

Most survivors of rape 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.

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?

618,000*.

That's 1 in 35 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 2020.

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 adult survivors of rape

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.

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.

Where did we get the data for these statistics from?

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 get in touch.

Contact media@rapecrisis.org.uk

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