Sexual & Gender-Based Violence

Bitesize Facts & Figures about Sexual & Gender-Based Violence in Europe & UK

Sexual violence against children in Europe

Available data suggest that about 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence.

It is estimated that in 70% to 85% of cases, the abuser is somebody the child knows and trusts. Child sexual violence can take many forms: sexual abuse within the family circle, child pornography and prostitution, corruption, solicitation via Internet and sexual assault by peers.
– The Council of Europe 1in5 Campaign

Child sexual abuse (in high-income countries)

  • During childhood, between 5-10 per cent of girls and up to 5 per cent of boys are exposed to penetrative sexual abuse
  • 3 times this number are exposed to any form of sexual abuse

– The Lancet (Gilbert et al., 2009)

Sexual violence In Europe:

  • 1 in 20 women (5 %) has been raped since the age of 15
  • 18 per cent of women have experienced stalking since the age of 15
  • 12 per cent of women indicate that they have experienced some form of sexual abuse or incident by an adult before the age of 15, which corresponds to about 21 million women in the EU
  • 53 per cent of all women in the EU avoid certain situations or places, at least sometimes, for fear of being physically or sexually assaulted
  • UK reports the 5th highest incidence of sexual and physical violence to women (44%)

Violence Against Women Survey (EU Agency for Fundamental Rights)

Sexual violence in the UK:

According to the Ministry of Justice, Home Office & Office of National Statistics (Jan. 2013):

  • On average, 2.5 per cent of females (approx. 404,000) and 0.4 per cent of males (approx. 72,000) are victims of sexual offences (including attempts) on average per year
  • 85,000 females & 12,000 males report being victims of rape or sexual assault by penetration, on average, each year
  • Around 1in 20 females (aged 16 to 59) reported being a victim of a most serious sexual offence since the age of 16
  • Extending this to include other sexual offences such as sexual threats, unwanted touching or indecent exposure, this increased to 1in 5 females reporting being a victim since the age of 16
  • Around 90 per cent of victims of the most serious sexual offences in the previous year knew the perpetrator
  • Only 15 per cent of female victims of rape and/or sexual assault offences said that they had reported the crime to the police
  • Females aged between 16 and 19 were at the highest risk of being a victim of a sexual offence (8.2 per cent) and as age increased the risk of victimisation reduced.

An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales

Sexual Violence in Sport:

In an Australian study Leahy et al. (2002) found that:

  • Results from the total sample (n=370) revealed that 31% of female and 21% of male athletes reported experiencing sexual abuse at some time in their lives. Of these, 41% of females, and 29% of males had been sexually abused within the sports environment. (p. 16)
    – USA Statistics: The National Center for Victims of Crime
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