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We run self defence classes for women. They are designed primarily for anti abduction, anti sexual assault and anti rape situations.
- 1 in 4 women have experienced rape or attempted rape
- 1 in 7 women have been coerced into sex, rising to 1 in 3 among divorced and separated women
- The most common perpetrators of rape are husbands and partners
- 97% of callers to Rape Crisis Lines knew their assailant prior to the assault
- The majority of perpetrators are known to the victim
Rape is a subject which most people find uncomfortable. For women it conjures up all kinds of images. Some of us will think of dirty old men in plastic coats, or a monster too gross to think about. Others will have more specific ideas about rape, perhaps thinking about a certain group of men such as 'weirdo's in dark alleys.
Rape and sexual assault happen far more often than statistics indicate.
The majority of women in society fear rape - no woman is allowed to ignore it. The majority of children are taught to be afraid of 'strange men' who offer us sweets, lifts, etc. We are taught as adults to keep our doors locked, not to be alone, not to look or act in any way that might 'bring rape upon ourselves'. Perhaps the most obvious situation in which we are taught to be afraid is when walking home alone at night. The threat of violence is a total intrusion into women's personal space and transforms a routine and / or potential pleasurable activity (for example, a walk in the park, a quiet evening at home, a long train journey) into a potentially upsetting, disturbing and often threatening experience.
Rape myths give people a false sense of security by minimising and / or denying the occurrence of sexual violence. They accomplish this by blaming the victim and making excuses for the perpetrator. In effect these myths perpetuate sexual violence because they play a powerful part in defining responses to rape and create an excuse not to address the realities of sexual violence.
It's much more common than people think.
Around 21% of girls and 11% of boys experience some form of child sexual abuse. 23% of women and 3% of men experience sexual assault as an adult. 5% of women and 0.4% of men experience rape.
It represents a form of gender inequality.
Most perpetrators are male and most victims are female. It is both a consequence and cause of gender inequality.
It causes fear in communities.
Women are more worried about rape than any other crime
It can cause severe and long lasting harm to victims.
Direct physical health consequences of sexual violence and child sexual abuse include physical injury, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Long-term consequences of sexual violence and child sexual abuse include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, social phobia, substance abuse, obesity, eating disorders, self harm and suicide, domestic violence and in some cases, offending behaviour. Child abuse can also impact on educational attainment and school attendance.
...and to society.
The overall cost to society of sexual offences in 2003-04 was estimated at £8.5 billion, with each rape costing over £76,000. Much of this cost is made up of lost output and costs to the health service resulting from long term health issues faced by victims.
Victims don't always get the support they need.
40% of adults who are raped tell no one about it. 31% of children who are abused reach adulthood without having disclosed their abuse. This means that victims don't get the support they need to deal with the abuse or violence they have experienced.
It is an important and dangerous element of domestic violence.
Many people believe that adult sexual violence and child sexual abuse is normally committed by a stranger. In fact, perpetrators are normally known to the victim and many are partners or family members. Rape is associated with the most severe cases of domestic violence, and is a risk factor for domestic homicide.
Offenders have been getting away with it..
Only 15% of serious sexual offences against people 16 and over are reported to the police and of the rape offences that are reported, fewer than 6% result in an offender being convicted of this offence. This means that those who commit these very serious crimes may continue to pose a risk to the public