One in ten women in the UK have been raped and over 80% of victims would not report the incident to police, according to a new survey on the hidden scale of rape and sexual assault in this country.
The survey was conducted by parenting network Mumsnet, who questioned 1,609 women in the past two months.
It found 10% of respondents had been raped and 35% had been sexually assaulted. 83% of women who had been attacked did not make a report to the police, and over two-thirds said they would hesitate telling the police due to low conviction rates.
Over 50% of those questioned felt society at large was unsympathetic to rape victims and the issue of rape.
In response Mumsnet has launched a "We Believe You" campaign, to support women who have suffered rape and sexual assault by raising awareness of how common these crimes are.
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet co-founder, 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. Things are made worse by the feeling among many women that they can’t talk about these crimes for fear of being treated unsympathetically, denying them access to practical and emotional support when they need it most."
Katie Russell on behalf of Rape Crisis (England & Wales), which is backing the initiative, said, "We welcome this campaign's determination to dispel the negative myths and misconceptions that prevent women and girls from accessing the support they want, need and deserve."
Barnardo’s and the End Violence Against Women coalition are also supporting the campaign. For more information, click here.