04:59 GMT02 December 2020
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    New figures have revealed one in five women in England and Wales have experienced some form of sexual assault since turning the age of 16 - although the vast majority of cases are still going unreported.

    Latest official findings published on Thursday, February 8, show more than 51,000 women — an estimated 3.1 percent — experienced some type of sexual attack in the past year alone.

    Women aged between 16 and 59 are now five times more likely than their male counterparts to have become the victim of unwanted touching or indecent exposure as well as sexual assault than the previous 12 months.

    The Office for National Statistics said the scale of incidents against women, as measured by the latest crime survey, had shown little change since 2005.

    It found more than 80 per cent of victims did not report their experiences to the police authorities.

    The figures reveal an estimated 4.3 million women (26 percent) and 2.4 million men (15 percent) have also experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16, with around 1.2 million women and 713,000 men saying it happened during the past year.

    A detailed breakdown of the ONS figures says that more than 443,000 women experienced at least one sexual assault involving indecent exposure or unwanted touching in the 12 months to March 2017.

    Nearly 145,000 women had experienced rape or an attempted rape or assault by penetration over the same period.

    The crime survey findings show also an estimated 138,000 men experienced some type of sexual assault in the past year and 646,000 have fallen victim to sexual assault since they were 16.

    The figures come in the wake of a string of allegations being filed against Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein and a host of other high-profile movie stars in the last 12 months.

    The police-recorded crime figures show 121,187 sexual offences were reported to them in the year up to March 2017. This represents a 14 per cent increase in the number of sexual offences recorded by police, which the ONS said is partly due to improved recording of cases. There remains, however, a high level of under-reporting.


    Sexual Assault Dominates Headlines as December Arrives
    crime, domestic abuse, women, Office for National Statistics, Harvey Weinstein, Wales, England
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