The latest facts and figures about sexual violence

Year end March 2022:


  • 150,000 rapes
  • 70,330 rapes recorded by police
  • 26% yr/yr increase in police reports
  • 2537 prosecutions (Note: There 5190 prosecutions in 2016/17)
  • 1733 convictions

Sexual Offences

  • 1,073,000 sexual offences
  • 124,353 sexual offences (excl rape) recorded by police
  • 35% yr/yr increase in police reports
  • 9175 prosecutions
  • 7676 convictions

Sexual Offences in Yorkshire and The Humber

18,907 sexual offences recorded by police in Yorkshire and Humber:

3.4 sexual offences per 1000 in Yorkshire/Humber, compared to 3.2 sexual offences per 1000 in England

Sources CSEW; ONS (2022); CPS (2022); CPS (2019)

The number of adults living with sexual trauma

An estimated 7.9 million people in England and Wales have been subjected to sexual violence since the age of 16. This equates to around 16.6% of people aged 16 yrs+. This includes an estimated 1.9 million victims of rape. That’s 7.7% women and 0.2% men that have been subjected to rape since the age of 16.

An estimated 1.1. million adults were subjected to sexual violence (incl attempts) in the year ending March 2022. This equates to 2.3% of adults, aged 16 yrs+, of which 798,000 were women (3.3%) and 275,000 men ( 1.2%).

An estimated 3.1 million adults were subjected to sexual violence before the age of 16. This equates to 7.5% of adults.

Impact of sexual trauma can be long-term and for some, lifelong, making every day life a struggle.

Sources CSEW; ONS (2022); CPS (2022); CPS (2019)

The Truth about...

Untruths about rape, sexual assault and child sexual abuse minimise the gravity of the crimes and lessens the ability to hold perpetrators to account.

Myths surrounding sexual violence and abuse can stop survivors reporting what happened to them and getting the help they need to cope and recover.

Knowing the facts can help prevent misinformation spreading, in turn leading to a society that supports survivors more readily and makes it easier for them to tell someone what happened.

False allegations

Research shows that false allegations of rape are rare and only represent 0.6% of the cases brought to court.

A 2012 CPS report (1) shows just 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape over a 17-month period compared to 5651 prosecutions for rape.

Men are more likely to be victims of rape than falsely accused of rape (2).

The Flight or Fight response

We often hear, “Why didn’t they fight back?” “Why didn’t they run away?” – this is victim blaming and adds to the shame and stigma that survivors can feel.

Threat provokes humans to respond in one of five ways: Fight; Flight; Freeze; Friend; and Flop (5). The emotional brain (the amygdala) will automatically trigger the response needed for survival.

So, if an individual cannot fight or flee – they may freeze becoming unconsciously immobile, attempt to socially engage a perpetrator or flop in a way that they submit to the perpetrator in order to stay alive.

It is important to understand this automatic survival instinct. Remember… What happened is NEVER the fault of the survivor. It is only ever the fault of the perpetrator.



Without consent, any kind of sexual activity is sexual violence.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 notes consent as when a person chooses to participate and ‘has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.’

A person doesn’t have the freedom and capacity to agree to sexual activity if…

  • They are asleep or unconscious.
  • They are drunk or ‘on’ drugs.
  • They’ve been ‘spiked’ with drink or drugs.
  • They are under the age of consent (this is 16 years of age in the UK).
  • They have been threatened, pressured, bullied, manipulated, tricked, or scared into saying ‘yes’.
  • They have a disorder or illness that means they are unable to make a choice.
  • The other person is using physical force against them.
  • If there is not consent, the activity is a criminal offence.

A person can be guilty of rape or sexual assault – even if they believed the person consented. The belief in the person’s consent must be ‘reasonable’. The court will assess the ‘reasonableness’ of the steps taken by the person to establish whether a complainant consented.

Everybody has the right to stop sexual activity at any time, no matter how far into the act they are. If a partner says to stop and a person continues, they are committing a crime.


Sexual abusers come from all walks of life. They can be friendly, charming. They are also manipulative and seek out and prey on the vulnerable.

According to a report published by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Office of National Statistics (13), 90% of rapes are committed by a person known to the victim such as a friend, acquaintance, colleague, partner or ex-partner.

Office of National Statistics data (2020) (11) shows that in 2019, child sexual abuse was most likely to have been perpetrated by a friend or acquaintance.



Please click here to find the sources and references used in the Facts and Figures section.

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