LESS than one in six women who were victims of sex attacks reported it to the police, shocking new stats show.
The bombshell figures show that just 16 per cent women or girls told police about their ordeals, while 19 per cent of men reported similar sexual assaults.
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They come following the brutal murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard, 33, which has highlighted the lack of support for women who routinely find themselves on the end of sexual harassment in Britain.
Ranks of shoes were gathered in protest over women’s safety following the death of Sarah — whose body was released to her family yesterday for her funeral.
People donated their footwear in Bournemouth, Dorset, to demonstrate how women feel at risk of violence walking late at night.
It came as Sarah’s inquest was told that a second post mortem was ordered after the first had not found the cause of her death.
Home Office stats, analysed by the ONC showed that 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 were victims of sexual assault or attempted assaults, and women were four times as many be victims compared to men.
But a total of 162,936 sexual offences were recorded by police in England and Wales in the year to March 2020, a drop of 0.7 per cent compared to the previous year.
Diana Fawcett, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said much more needed to be done to encourage victims to report incidents.
She added: “Sexual offences have a devastating and long-lasting impact on people’s lives and it is vital that victims who come forward are treated with respect and given high-quality support every step of the way through the criminal justice system, from speaking to the police to giving evidence in court, in order to help them rebuild their lives.
“Sadly, for many women, this is not often the experience they have.”
Labour MP Sarah Jones the Shadow Policing and Fire Minister said: “These figures show the scale of sexual violence that women face. It’s unacceptable that so few victims feel able to come forward and so many perpetrators are escaping justice.
“This has to be the time for change.
“The Government must act urgently to restore victims’ faith in the justice system.
“Labour has set out a range of tough and effective measures that could be implemented without delay, like taking action on stalking and street harassment, as well as harsher penalties for rape and domestic murders, and better support for victims.”
According to the stats 90 per cent rape victims were women, while ten per cent were male.
The Influential Home Affairs Select Committees said it would launch two new inquiries following the tragic death of Sarah Everard and the raising of safety concerns by women across the country.
Yvette Cooper MP, the Chair of the Committee, said: “Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard women across the country have been moved to speak about their own experiences of violence, threats and feeling unsafe on our streets or at home.
“The Committee will soon be launching an inquiry into Violence Against Women and Girls, focusing initially on the disturbing drop in rape prosecutions to 1.4% of reported cases.
“We have also been very concerned by what happened at the vigils that took place over the weekend of 13 and 14 March, including the scenes we saw at Clapham Common and the policing decisions that were made.
“We are therefore conducting a short inquiry on this issue and intend to take evidence next week”.
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