Sexual Assault Stats & Facts – 2023 Data

This post is a part of our guide series to support anyone who may have been sexually assaulted or has questions around the topic:

What is Sexual Assault? Definitions & Meanings of Rape
Who Commits Sexual Assault & Why?
What are the Signs of Sexual Assault?
Date Rape & Staying Safe
What Impacts Does Sexual Assault Have on Victims and Their Family/Friends?
Coping, Healing & Recovering From Sexual Assault & Rape
How to Help Someone Who has Been a Victim of Sexual Assault
How to report Sexual Assault (and Who to Report it to)
How is Sexual Assault & Rape Proven in Court?
Punishment and Sentencing for Sexual Assault
How can Sexual Assault and Rape be Prevented?
Sexual Assault Data & Statistics
Sexual Assault Helplines, Support & Further Reading

Unfortunately, sexual assault crime has increased over the years, in this guide we will look at data and statistics reported by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for sexual assault crime. However, please note the level of underreporting makes it difficult to determine the true level of sexual assault crime in England and Wales and therefore, in reality, the figures may be a lot higher.

How many women are raped every year in the UK?

The most recent report published by the Office of National Statistics shows rape offences have increased dramatically in England and Wales since 2012/13. The number of rape offences in the year ending June 2021 was 61,158. The charity ‘Rape Crisis’ has reported 1 in 4 women being raped or sexually assaulted as an adult and the highest number of rape cases reported to the police in march 2022 was 70,330. The overall statistics in England and Wales found that 85,000 women experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault every year.

How many men are raped every year in the UK?

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in 2023 found that 275,000 male victims have experienced some form of sexual assault since the age of 16. Approximately 12,000 men (aged 16-59) are raped in the UK every year. However, it is important to note that the figures are likely to be much higher as some victims would not have reported the rape to the police.

What about the wider world? Where were the worst and best sexual assault statistics?

Again one of the challenges of tracking down accurate sexual assault statistics worldwide is that most victims choose not to report it. Also, there are many countries in which the laws against sexual assault are insufficient, inconsistent or not regularly enforced. According to the United Nations, globally, an estimated 736 million women (almost 1 in 3) have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life. Research from the World Population Review data suggests South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho are amongst the top three countries with the highest rape rates. Liechtenstein, Egypt and Mozambique are amongst the countries which have the lowest rape rates.

How many rapes are reported vs unreported?

Unfortunately despite the increased rates of rape and reporting in recent years, the rates of charging and convictions remain amongst the lowest since records began. According to the charity ‘Rape Crisis’, only 1 in 100 rapes were reported to the police in 2021 and resulted in a charge. 5 in 6 women who are raped don’t report it and the same is true for 4 in 5 men. ONS found the following figures for non-reporting;

  • 40% said it was due to ‘embarrassment’
  • 38% said they didn’t think the police could help
  • 34% said they thought it would be humiliating.

It is important for Local communities to work together to end the stigma attached to victims of rape, they cannot be blamed for what has happened to them, it was never their fault.

How many rape cases result in a conviction and/or compensation?

Research suggests over the past four years, rape prosecutions in England and Wales have fallen to 70%. Whilst the highest reported case of rape were 70,330 in March 2022, only 2,223 charges were brought in these cases. The average custodial sentence for sexual offences in the UK is between 5 and 10 years, whether this is long enough for those found guilty of such horrendous crimes is questionable. Many people are of the view that the minimum and maximum sentencing for sexual offenders should be increased to reflect the seriousness of the crime and that victims deserve better justice.

You will need to have made a formal complaint to the police if you are seeking compensation, we understand this process can be difficult but remember claiming compensation is your right. No amount of money could ever compensate for the trauma you have been through, but it can certainly help towards trying to build a new life and getting the help that you need.

We understand how difficult it is to experience abuse, whether it is yourself or someone you know, sometimes trying to find help is not easy. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and the first step that you should take is to talk to someone. No one should have to deal with abuse alone.

Here at the Criminal Injuries Helpline, we help victims of violent crime and abuse recover compensation. You may want to help the victim gain some justice, get in touch with us today to see if the victim would qualify.

Request a Call Back

No win no fee = no risk to you. Complete this simple form to speak to an expert in confidence.

    Was it reported to the police? *