You are on page 1of 7

Rape: The Facts

“In no other crime is the victim subject to so much scrutiny during an investigation or at trial; nor is the potential for victims to be re-traumatised during these processes as high in any other crime. (HMCPS & HMIC, 2007)

!ummary !tatistics
• • • • • • • Incidence: At least "#$%%% adult women are raped every year in the !" &erpetrators# $he ma%ority o& perpetrators are 'nown to the vi(tim" Reporting: $here has )een a pro*ressive in(rease in the num)er o& rapes reported to the poli(e &or more than 20 years+ durin* 200,-. '($#') rapes were reported" *onviction: In 2004 the conviction rate for rape was +.(, - the lowest rate on re(ord" !upport services# $here are only '+ Se/ual 0ssault 1e&erral Centres (S01Cs) &or vi(tims o& rape" &ublic attitudes: 2early a third o& people ((%,) say a woman was partially or totally responsi)le &or )ein* raped i& she was drun' International# 0 study &ound the only 3uropean (ountry with a lower (onvi(tion rate than the ! was Ireland"

Incidence • 0vaila)le data su**ests that nearly one in four women -orld-ide may e.perience se.ual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime /012$ )%%)3. • 0t least "#$%%% adult women are raped every year in the ! (4CS 2005)" • Sin(e the a*e o& 5., +, o& women in the ! have )een raped (4CS 2005)" • $here are in(reasin* num)ers o& youn* vi(tims o& rape a*ed under 206years6old (!elly, 7ovett, and 1e*an, 200,)" • "%, o& youn* people 'now *irls whose )oy&riends have (oer(ed or pressurised them to have se/ (3809, 200.)" &erpetrators • $he ma%ority o& perpetrators are 'nown to the vi(tim (!elly, 7ovett, and 1e*an, 200,)" • In 4+.#, o& re(orded rape (rimes the suspe(t was 'nown to the vi(tim or identi&ied &ollowin* investi*ation (HMCPS & HMIC, 2007)" • 9omen are most li'ely to )e se/ually atta('ed )y men they 'now in some way, most o&ten partners ((),) or a(:uaintan(es ()),) (0I ! 2007)" Reporting • $here has )een a pro*ressive in(rease in the num)er o& rapes reported to the poli(e &or more than 20 years (HMCPS & HMIC, 2007)# o 2005-02# 5$#(" rapes were reported o 200;-0<# ')$(+" rapes were reported o 200,-0.# '($#') rapes were reported

:. 200.)" =verall. 2007)" "%. • 2002# +. • 200<# +.)" )(. 2007)" 6a. internal poli(e rules spe(i&y that only (ases where either there is a stron* and (redi)le admission )y the (omplainants.@ in Su&&ol' and the 78 • $he !e. 7ovett. 7ovett. and 1e*an." 1esear(h su**ests )etween #+-5+. )ut the (onvi(tion rate is diminishin*" $he A%usti(e *apB &or vi(tims o& rape is there&ore widenin*" (HMCPS & HMIC. and 1e*an. • 5III# #. an a(:uittal was the most li'ely out(ome (!elly. 200. or where there are stron* evidential *rounds. the (onvi(tion rate in areas varies widely.• • • • • • o $he a)ove &i*ures represent an in(rease o& "%.+ HMCPS & HMIC. and 1e*an. and 1e*an.4:. and where a &ull trial too' pla(e.) 9hile the national avera*e is . o& these de(isions have )een &ound to )e non6(ompliant with Home =&&i(e Countin* 1ules and should remain re(orded (rimes (HMCPS & HMIC. 7ovett. o& those who su&&ered rape in the 2005 4CS had told no6one a)out it (=C>1. 2007)" (The term ‘no crime’ means the police decide that the • • • • • . 6 (representin* ' in )% reported (ases) (=C>1. 7ovett.(. should )e (lassi&ied as A&alseB" Curther investi*ation o& this &i*ure o& ?@ &ound that only (. and 1e*an. 2007)" 0round half o& (onvi(tions were due to a *uilty plea. 200. o& rapes are never reported to the poli(e (HMCPS & HMIC.)" $here is an over6estimation o& the s(ale o& &alse alle*ations )y poli(e and prose(utors and su)%e(tive %ud*ements are still )ein* made a)out vi(tims" $his results in poor (ommuni(ation and loss o& (on&iden(e )etween (omplainants and poli(e (!elly.)# • 5I77# ((.4.@.)" 0 re(ent study in the ! &ound ?@ o& (ases reported to the poli(e were desi*nated A&alseB reports" However. there were #)4 (onvi(tions &or rape (HMCPS & HMIC. o& the very small proportion o& *enuinely &alse alle*ations. 200. resear(h su**ests the rate o& &alse alle*ations o& rape are no hi*her than those o& other (rimes (!elly. 2007) ! (onvi(tion rates &or rape (!elly. anus or mouth o& another person with his penis. and  he does not reasona)ly )elieve that the vi(tim (onsents" o De&inition o& (onsent# Ea person (onsents i& he a*rees )y (hoi(e. 200.5.(. in Glou(estershire" In 200. o& reported rapes are Ano (rimedB )y the poli(e" ('.". • • $he reportin* rate o& rape is in(reasin*. in most (ases there is no named o&&ender (3809."?@ in 2orthamptonshire to %ust 5". &rom 5. 2007)" .ual 2ffences 9ct )%%( o Statutory de&inition o& (onsent# a de&endant is *uilty i&#  he intentionally penetrates the va*ina. 7ovett. and has the &reedom and (apa(ity to ma'e that (hoi(eF" • $he Government has re(ently (onsulted on the need &or (han*es to the (urrent law.4. 200. 200.  the vi(tim does not (onsent to the half and t-o thirds o& (ases reported do not advan(e )eyond the investi*ation sta*e (HMCPS & HMIC. o& (ases desi*nated &alse &ell within the poli(e (ate*ories o& Apro)a)leB and Apossi)leB &alse alle*ations (as opposed to additionally those (lassed as Aun(ertainB)" (!elly. 2007)" International resear(h shows that. in AConvi(tin* 1apists and Prote(tin* 8i(tims H >usti(e &or 8i(tims o& 1apeB" $he results o& this (onsultation have not yet )een pu)lished" *onviction The term ‘conviction rate’ refers to the proportion of rapes reported to police that result in the alleged perpetrator being found guilty in a court of law.

Der)yshire o Dart&ord. South 9ales . 7ovett. the (ourt (ase o& 1 v Dou*al (Swansea Crown Court) re(eived wide6spread (ondemnation when the >ud*e dire(ted the %ury to enter a Anot *uiltyB verdi(t when the prose(ution in&ormed the %ud*e it did not propose to pro(eed &urther )e(ause it was una)le to prove that the (omplainant had not *iven (onsent )e(ause o& her level o& into/i(ation" $he prose(utin* (ounselBs statement in Swansea Crown Court in(luded the remar' that Edrun'en (onsent is still (onsentF" $he (omplainant stated that she (ould not remem)er whether she *ave (onsent to se/ual inter(ourse or not" !upport !ervices • Se/ual 0ssault 1e&erral Centres (S01Cs) provide spe(ialist medi(al treatment and (ounsellin* to vi(tims o& rape" • $here are only '+ S01Cs in 3n*land and 9ales. Portsmouth o 7ei(ester o Man(hester o Merthyr $yd&il.)" o In 200. and there is a hi*h (han(e o& non6prose(ution or a(:uittal &or rape in these (ir(umstan(es (HMCPS & HMIC.s (!elly. !ent o Durham o Gwent o Hampshire.)" o 1esear(h su**ests the type o& into/i(ant involved in a rape (ase in&luen(es %urorsB de(isions" In s(enarios involvin* the Adate rape dru*B. 2007)" 0 vulnera)ility or diversity issue is identi&ied in "). 2007)" 1ates o& a(:uittal are t-ice as hi*h in (ases involvin* adults as those involvin* under65. 200. o& rape (ases reported to the poli(e involved dru*s and-or al(ohol (al(ohol )ein* the primary into/i(ant in the vast ma%ority o& (ases)" However.". and its use )y men to AloosenB up otherwise relu(tant se/ual partners has )een normalised within so(iety (Cin(h and Munroe. %urors are &ar less in(lined to hold the rape (omplainant responsi)le &or se/ual inter(ourse than i& the into/i(ant was al(ohol" $his (an )e attri)uted to the &a(t that al(ohol is more so(ially a((epta)le than dru*s. there were di&&eren(es in the (ase sample# +5. ‘No crimes’ are excluded from official recorded crime figures – which are in turn used for calculating levels of attrition. even i& the silen(e was due to the &a(t that the woman was totally into/i(ated" 3ven in situations where the al(ohol (onsumption was involuntary. %urors (ontinue to hold the (omplainant responsi)le (Cin(h and Munroe. $here is supportin* eviden(e in 4:.(. and dru*s in '). 2007)" o Conservative estimates indi(ate al(ohol is involved in (". o& reported rape (ases.)" o 0 re(ent study &ound "5. 200. 200. o& (ases (Cin(h and Munroe. 2007)" $his su**ests that al(ohol use )y vi(tims in&luen(es poli(e de(ision ma'in* o 1esear(h su**ests that %urors o&ten ta'e the view that it is Jreasona)leJ &or a man to assume that silen(e represents se/ual (onsent. with three )ased in 7ondon" $he other lo(ations o& S01Cs are# o Codnor. and 1e*an.• • • • incident reported to them is most likely not to have been the result of a criminal act and they take no further action to pursue the claim. o& advi(e (ases involved into/i(ants and (5.#. o& reported rape (ases" $he most &re:uently identi&ied vulnera)ilities relate to mental health and learnin* di&&i(ulties" $he (onvi(tion rate &or these (ases is lower than the overall (onvi(tion rate &or rape (ases (HMCPS & HMIC. 1ohypnol. 200.)" Into.icants: o Cases o& rape are (urrently very di&&i(ult to prose(ute su((ess&ully i& the vi(tim was into/i(ated at the time o& the atta('. o& (har*ed (ases o& rape" $hus in the ma%ority o& (ases it is not simply a matter o& the vi(timBs word a*ainst the de&endants (HMCPS & HMIC. o& (har*ed (ases involved into/i(ants" (HMCPS & HMIC.

the num)er o& rape (risis (entres has )een de(linin*" =ut o& the . se/ual violen(e has )een a ne*le(ted area o& resear(h (9H= 2002)" . thin' the num)er o& women raped e/(eeds 50.)" • More than a :uarter ():. 7an(ashire o 9alsall.) o& people in the ! )elieve that a woman is partially or totally responsi)le &or )ein* raped i& she has )ehaved in a &lirtatious manner (0I ! 200. 7ovett. 200. including women dealing with historic experiences.)" • 2early a third o& people ((%.7 remainin* rape (risis (entres that are mem)ers o& the 1ape Crisis 2etwor'.) o& youn* people in the (ase o& situations where a )oy had Jspent a lot i& time and moneyJ on the *irl" o ''.)" • More than one in &ive ()).) hold the same view i& the woman had &ailed to (learly say EnoF to the man (0I ! 200.) o& %ury deli)erations &ound# o $here is no (onsensus amon*st %urors on the meanin* o& 'ey terms used &or deli)eratin* whether a (ase (onstitutes rape" $hese terms are A&reedomB.)# o )#.) o& people thin' a woman was partially or totally responsi)le &or )ein* raped i& she was wearin* se/y or revealin* (lothin* (0I ! 200.)" Rape Crisis centres offer long-term support to survivors of sexual violence. and 1e*an. and that physi(al &or(e (and eviden(e o& &or(e) is a re:uisite o& rape" • $he Sun Woman (2007) found four in five women believe rape would be ta en less seriousl! if the • victim was wearin" a short s irt# $he Sun 9oman (2007) found $%& of people thin the courts were failin" rape victims' while 81% felt societ!(s attitudes towards rape victims has deteriorated over the last ten !ears# International • In *eneral.)" • 0round one in 52 people (4.) )elieve a woman is totally responsi)le &or )ein* raped i& she has many se/ual partners (0I ! 200.) • Koun* peopleBs attitudes (0I ! 200.0.0 )y 0pril 200?" 8i(tims less li'ely to de(line to (omplete the initial investi*ative pro(ess in an area where there is a S01C (!elly. thin' it is a((epta)le &or a )oy to Je/pe(t to have se/ with a *irlJ i& the *irl has )een Jvery &lirtatiousJ" o $he same view is held )y one in twelve (4. thin' it is a((epta)le &or a )oy to e/pe(t to have se/ i& se/ual a(tivity had )een initiated and the )oy was Jreally turned onJ" o In most (ases more youn* men hold these views than youn* women" • 0 study )y Cin(h & Munroe (200. more S01Cs are in development and &undin* is promised to )rin* the total to . A(apa(ityB and Areasona)lenessB" Mu(h is le&t in %ury deli)erations to interpretation and su)%e(tivity" >urors rely on :uestiona)le stereotypes in deli)erations to a&&ord lenien(y to the de&endant" o Some %urors )elieve a womanBs silen(e reasona)ly e:uates with se/ual (onsent. Due to de(reases in &undin*. (ompared to .)" • More than a third ((#.? in 5I?<.) say a woman was partially or totally responsi)le &or )ein* raped i& she was drun' (0I ! 200.• • • • o 2orthum)ria o Preston.000" (0I ! 200. 9est Midlands o Swindon. none have sta)le statutory &indin*. and si/ (losed in the last three years due to &undin* pro)lems" &ublic 9ttitudes • 0 third ((". donBt 'now the true e/tent o& rape or thin' it is &ar lower than the true &i*ure" =nly ". 9iltshire . such as child or early adulthood sexual abuse.000 per year when the true &i*ure is li'ely to )e well in e/(ess o& .)" • $he vast ma%ority o& the 4ritish population has no idea how many women are raped every year in the !# 5:.) hold the same view i& a woman has many se/ual partners (0I ! 200.

@ in (urrent relations ?"2@ A&or(ed se/B+ 5.@ o& women have )een &or(ed into se/ual a(tivity )y a (urrent hus)and-(o6ha)itant+ 5 in < (2. 5I@ rape or attempted rape in previous relationships+ .)" $he only 3uropean . (25@) o& women have )een raped and a similar proportion (5?@) reported that their &irst se/ual e/perien(e had )een &or(ed (Co'er60ppiah & Cusa('.org) *ountry Canada Ghana &revalence 5 in .@ reported se/ual events that would (onstitute a (rime 50@ prevalen(e within domesti( violen(e .)# *ountry 3n*land & 9ales (2000) Cinland (5II7) Germany (5III) Hun*ary (5III) Ireland (2002) 7atvia (5II?) 7ithuania (5III) 2etherlands (5II2) Sweden (2002) SwitLerland (5II<) ! (5II5) &revalence of rape=se. 5III 5 in . women have e/perien(ed a se/ual assault (Statisti(s Canada. due in part to variations in samples. (5. 2005+ 1e*an and !elly.a) 5 in .)" o Mu(h hi*her prose(ution rates than those in the ! were evident in a num)er o& (ountries (in(ludin* more than . 5II.<@ se/ual violen(e sin(e 5.@ se/ual a)use )y a stran*er a&ter 5. that provided data showed a de(line in the proportion o& prose(utions and (onvi(tions" In Germany. 200.)" <uropean research on prevalence (summarised in 1e*an and !elly. and I(eland the ma%ority o& prose(utions &or rape resulted in (onvi(tions" (!elly and 1e*an."."?@ A&or(e or dru*sB+ 2.@) women had )een su)%e(t to se/ual violen(e )y a man outside a relationship (7und*ren."<@ raped as adults . 2005+ 1e*an and !elly. the proportion o& prose(utions and (onvi(tions has in(reased sin(e 5II7" (!elly and 1e*an."2@ in last &ive years (se/ual assault) 2. Germany. methods et( (1e*an and !elly.@ have e/perien(ed rape or attempted rape • • =ther International data on prevalen(e (summarised and availa)le online at www.cwasu.0@ o& reports in 0ustria and Denmar')" In Cinland. 200.@) o& women have )een su)%e(ted to se/ual violen(e )y a &ormer hus)and-(o6ha)itant+ . 200. Hun*ary. 9esterstrand & !allio'os'i (2002) Sweden • International comparisons on attrition=conviction rates o 0 re(ent review o& 3uropean (ountry studies on rape &ound that every (ountry.@ unwanted or &or(ed se/ within domesti( violen(e 2.ual assault <"I@ o& women on at least one o((asion sin(e the a*e o& 5. (no &i*ures &or rape spe(i&i(ally) 55".+ 5?"2@ )y a 'nown man+ 57@ attempted (oer(ed se/ 25@ Aunwanted se/B+ 7"<@ rape H within domesti( violen(e . Heimer. 200. 2005)" $he resear(h &indin*s are not (onsistent. e/(ept Germany.• 1esear(h on the prevalen(e o& rape in 3uropean (ountries only e/ists &or nine (ountries (!elly and 1e*an.

" !elly. and Munroe.) A0 *ap or a (hasmN 0ttrition in reported rape (asesB" Child and 9omen 0)use Studies nit" Home =&&i(e 1esear(h Study 2I.@ to 5I"I@ (!elly. and 1eed. Mavaila)le online at http#--www"thesun"(o"u'-arti(le-0. >".5<" 1e*istered in 3n*land" 1e*istered Charity no 550?7.) Crom So)riety to Stupe&a(tion# Into/i(ation & >ury De(ision6Ma'in* in 1ape $rialsB M13S600062260.II www"&aw(ettso(iety"or*"u' 0 (ompany limited )y *uarantee no" <. 7". !".I . 2."B Home =&&i(e Statisti(al 4ulletin" 3nd 8iolen(e 0*ainst 9omen (ampai*n (3809) ICM survey (200. niversity o& 2orth 7ondon" 1e*an. 7" and !elly. 7" and 1e*an.00"htmlP 9H= (2002) M0vaila)le online at http#--www"who"int-violen(eQin%uryQprevention-violen(e-worldQreport-&a(tsheets-en-inde/"ht mlP Caw(ett So(iety 56. 7ovett.. Cirearm =&&en(es and Intimate 8iolen(e 200.) A1ape# still a &or*otten issue"B Child and 9omen 0)use Studies nit..2?P M0vaila)le online at www"esr(so(ietytoday"a("u'P HM Crown Prose(ution Servi(e Inspe(torate (HMCPS) and HM Inspe(torate o& Consta)ulary (HMIC) (2007)" A9ithout (onsent# 0 report on the %oint review o& the investi*ation and prose(ution o& rape o&&en(esB" ICM opinion poll (ommissioned )y 0mnesty International ! (200. !aiLa.I? Ca/ 020 72. 7" (200..200. revealed the avera*e (onvi(tion rate in the S0 in 5II0 was 52@" 0 su)se:uent review has &ound the (onvi(tion rate to vary a(ross the S0.. 200. P".0IP 4ritish Crime Survey 2005 M0vaila)le online at http#--www"homeo&&i(e"*ov"u'-rds-)(s5"htmlP Coleman. >ansson.) AConvi(tin* 1apists and Prote(tin* 8i(tims H >usti(e &or 8i(tims o& 1ape" 0 (onsultation paperB" 0I ! (2007) M0vaila)le online at http#--www"amnesty"or*"u'-(ontent"aspN Cate*oryIDO50.. and 1e*an. 3". !". 2. 3" (2007) AHomi(ides. 8"3" (200.(ountry with a lower (onvi(tion rate than the ! was Ireland (1e*an and !elly.-200. 7ondon.)" References • • • • • • • • • • • • • • =&&i(e &or Criminal >usti(e 1e&orm (=C>1) (200.P 3nd 8iolen(e 0*ainst 9omen (3809) (2007) AHouse o& 7ords 4rie&in*# 0nonymity &or De&endants in 1ape Cases"B M0vaila)le to download at http#--www"endviolen(ea*ainstwomen"or*"u'P Cin(h..) M0vaila)le online at http#--www"amnesty"or*"u'-newsQdetails"aspN2ewsIDO575. 7" (200.)" o 0 report issued )y the S Senate >udi(iary Committee in 5II.<0007. 7ovett. 3C58 000 $el 020 72. 7ondon Metropolitan niversity" Sun 9oman (2007). 7" (2005) A1ape# the &or*otten issueN 0 3uropean resear(h and networ'in* pro%e(t"B Child and 9omen 0)use Studies nit. 200. &rom 2".5?P !elly. and 1e*an. 4erry Street.) M0vaila)le to download at http#--www"amnesty"or*"u'-newsQdetails"aspN2ewsIDO5.00.

!ocument last updated" #pril $%%& .