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Mumsnet uncovers shocking truth about rape in the UK

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Denise Turner
WVon co-editor

A survey carried out by advice website, Mumsnet, in February and March has revealed shocking facts about the scale of rape and sexual assault in the UK.

As a result, it has today launched a week-long ‘We Believe You’ campaign to raise awareness of the issue and to support victims.

The survey found that:

  • One in ten respondents had been raped
  • Over one-third had been sexually assaulted
  • In two-thirds of cases the women knew the person responsible
  • Over four-fifths of respondents who had been attacked did not report it to the police
  • Over a quarter didn’t tell anyone at all, including friends or family
  • Over half said they had not reported the attack due to embarrassment or shame.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet Co-Founder and CEO, said:

‘The results of our survey are really shocking. We simply shouldn’t accept that we live in a country where one in ten women are raped and over one-third sexually assaulted.”

The campaign is also aimed at challenging the myths that makes society less sympathetic to victims and stops them reporting sex-hate crimes.

Rape: the truth behind the myths‘, also published today, sets out to bust eight of the most persistent of those myths – for instance, that women are most likely to be raped by a stranger, outside, in dark alleyways.

In reality:

  • More than 80% of women who are raped know their attacker
  • 22% of perpetrators are reported as ‘partner/ex-partner’
  • Over two-thirds of rapes take place in the victim’s home, the suspect’s home or the victim/suspect’s shared home.

As a result, women who are raped in domestic circumstances don’t identify their experience as rape, or report it.

The myth also blames the victim and limits women’s freedom of movement, by implying that rape can be prevented if women avoid certain places.

Backed by Rape CrisisBarnardo’s and the End Violence Against Women coalition, the survey was completed by over 1600 women.

Holly Dustin, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “We want to see ongoing public campaigns to tackle attitudes to sexual violence, and work with young people in schools to prevent harmful behaviours developing in the first place.”

You can support the campaign on their Facebook page or by following the Twitter hashtag #webelieveyou.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    In US current understanding is it is closer to 1 in 5. I think we as a society have to really question whether we actually are prepared to stand up for equality … and in doing so, we may need to take on some very aggressive men and women who will tell us we are hairy arsed, man hating feminazis … but the softly softly path we have been treading has resulted in this whitewash of sexist violence … and all we’ve done is replaced victim shaming with victim blaming. Not much progress for 40 years of equal rights legislation.

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