ONS statistics to June 2014 show 29% in rapes recorded by police

17 Oct 2014

Katie Russell, spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England & Wales said:

“In January 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Home Office and Ministry of Justice released its joint report, ‘An Overview of Sexual Offending’, which estimated that 85,000 adult women and 10,000 men are raped in England and Wales every year, and that nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted annually. 

Without the detail behind the recorded crime statistics published by the ONS today (Thursday 16th October 2014), it is difficult to speculate what exactly the significant rise in sexual offences being recorded by police forces signify. 

Whether the figures reflect an increase in the numbers of sexual violence survivors coming forward to seek criminal justice, or an improvement in the consistency with which these serious crimes are recorded by police forces, or an increase in such crimes themselves, what is clear is that they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Sexual violence remains hugely under-reported, with the ONS estimating that only 15% of those affected currently choose to go to the police.

Rape Crisis provides specialist, independent and confidential support and advocacy services to women and girls in particular who’ve experienced sexual violence of any kind at any time in their lives, regardless of whether they choose to report to the police. 

And today’s headlines about an increase in recorded sexual offences are mirrored by our member Rape Crisis organisations’ experience; we continue to see a significant increase in the numbers of sexual violence survivors seeking our specialist support, whether or not they are also pursuing criminal justice.

And yet a quarter of these specialist Rape Crisis organisations have no funding guaranteed beyond March 2015.  

As the demand for support and advocacy for sexual violence survivors remains as great if not greater than ever, we must commit not only to safeguarding specialist Rape Crisis services into the future but to increasing this vital provision to meet need.”