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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 5women

    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 December 2021:

67,125

A failing justice system

Only 1 in 100 rapes reported to police in 2021

resulted in a charge that same year

Despite high rates of rape and sexual abuse and an increase in reporting in recent years, charging and conviction rates have dropped to among the lowest since records began.

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Who carries out rape?

  • 1 in 2rapes against women

    are carried out by their partner or ex-partner

  • 5 in 6rapes against women

    are carried out by someone they know

  • 1 in 3adult victims and survivors of rape

    experience it in their own home

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

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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?
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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.

Learn about rape culture
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Media enquiries

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