Rape and sexual assault
- One in five women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (MoJ, Home Office, ONS, 2013)
- Approximately 85,000 women are raped and over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted in England and Wales every year. (MoJ, Home Office, ONS, 2013)
- Sexual violence is even more prevalent for younger women as one in three teenage girls has experienced some form of sexual violence from a partner. (University of Bristol for NSPCC, 2009)
- Coercive control or pressure is used much more frequently by partners than physical force, as 16% of girls having been raped using pressure and coercion and 6% have been raped using physical force. (University of Bristol for NSPCC, 2009)
- Young women and girls affected by gangs experience high levels of sexual violence including sexual exploitation, sexual assault, individual rape and multiple perpetrator rape. (University of Bedfordshire for the OCC, 2013)
- In 2013, the police recorded at least 1,052 reports of sexual violence in schools, of which 134 were reported as rape. (FOI, 2014)
- 31% of young women aged 18-24 report having experienced sexual abuse in childhood; 90% are abused by someone they know and 66% are abused by other children or young people under 18. (NSPCC, 2011)
- In 2012-2013, 22,654 sexual offences against under-18s were reported to police in England and Wales with four out of five cases involving girls. (NSPCC, 2014)
- Most women in the UK do not have access to a Rape Crisis Centre (Map of Gaps, 2007).
- A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)
- Conviction rates for rape are far lower than other crimes (Kelly, Lovett and Regan, A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases, 2005). Only 5.7% of reported rape cases end in a conviction for the perpetrator.
‘I am more than one thing’: A guiding paper by Imkaan, Positively UK and Rape Crisis England and Wales on women and mental health, Women’s Health and Equality Consortium, 2014
Police have “Osman” duty to investigate in date rape cases One Crown Office Row, 2014
Responding to the challenge of rape myths in court: A guide for prosecutors Dr Nina Burrowes, March 2013
The Crisis in Rape Crisis Women’s Resource Centre and Rape Crisis England and Wales, March 2008
Not either/or but both/and; Why we need Rape Crisis Centres and Sexual Assault Referral Centres (do we have this saved?) EVAW, CWASU, Rape Crisis, Fawcett
Map of Gaps End Violence Against Women and Equality and Human Rights Commission, November 2007
Without Consent HMCPSI and HMIC Thematic Report, 2007
A Gap or a Chasm L Kelly et al, Home Office Research Study 293, February 2005
FGM (female genital mutilation)
- Over 60,000 girls under the age of 15 are at high risk of FGM every year in England and Wales. (City University, 2014)
- Over 137,000 women in England and Wales are already living with the consequences of FGM. (City University, 2014)
- ‘Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003’ made it an offence for FGM to be carried out anywhere on UK nationals or permanent residents.
- In September 2014, NHS hospital trusts in England were treating 467 female patients newly identified as having been subjected to FGM and 1,279 female patients previously identified as having been subjected to FGM. (HSCIC, 2014)
Statement Opposing Female Genital Mutilation, HM Government, 2014
Report of a Research Methodological Workshop On Estimating the Prevalence of FGM in England and Wales, Equality Now, FORWARD, City University London, Institute for Women’s Health, 2012
‘Honour’ based violence and forced marriage
- In 2013 the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice in 1302 cases of possible Forced Marriage
- The vast majority of Forced Marriage cases are young people between ages 17-25, and 82% are female.
- In 2010 2823 incidents of ‘honour’ based violence were reported to the police (IKWRO)
Culture, Coercion and Consent: Best practice to secure forced marriage convictions, Professor Aisha K Gill & Deborah Gould
The Price of Honour: Exploring the issues of Sexual Violence within South Asian Communities in Coventry, Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, 2014
A guide to the Forced Marriage Act (Civil Protection) 2007, by solicitors’ firm Pannone.
Banaz: A Love Story, Fuuse Films, 2012 (an award winning documentary film chronicling the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod, a young British woman in suburban London in 2006)
Trafficking and prostitution
- The UK is a significant site of international and internal child trafficking. The vast majority of trafficked children in the UK are aged 14-17, with many girls trafficked for sexual abuse and exploitation. (Strategic Threat Assessment: Child Trafficking in the UK, CEOP, 2009)
- Only 19% of women working as prostitutes in flats, parlours and saunas are originally from the UK (The Poppy Project, Sex in the City: Mapping Commercial Sex Across London, 2004).
- 80,000 women work in ‘on-street’ prostitution in the UK. The average age women become involved being just 12yrs old (Home Office, Paying the Price. A consultation paper on prostitution, 2004).
- 3 out of 4 women in prostitution become involved aged 21 or younger, and 1 in 2 aged 18 or younger (Child & Woman Abuse Studies Unit)
- As many as 85% women in prostitution report physical abuse in the family, with 45% reporting familial sexual abuse (Paying the Price).
- 75% of children abused through prostitution had been missing from school (Paying the Price).
- 87% of women in street-based prostitution use heroin (M. Hester and N. Westmarland, Tackling Street Prostitution: Towards an Holistic Approach, Home Office Research Study 279, London, 2004).
- 8.9% of men in London aged 16-44 reported having paid for sex in the past 5 years (Paying the Price).
- In the UK as many as 60 women involved in prostitution have been murdered in the last 10 years (Home Office, Paying the Price: A consultation paper on prostitution, 2004).
- Risk factors for mental disorders in women survivors of human trafficking: a historical cohort study, BMC Psychiatry, 2013
- New research shows violence decreases under Nordic model: Why the radio silence? Feminist Current, 2013
- New study finds that human trafficking is higher in countries where prostitution is legal, article on LSE website (study by LSE, German Institute for Economic Research and Heidelburg University), December 2012
- Prevalence and Risk of Violence and the Physical, Mental and Sexual Health Problems Associated with Human Trafficking: Systematic Review 2012
- All Change: Preventing Trafficking in the UK Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group April 2012
- Challenging men’s demand for prostitution in Scotland, Women’s Support Project, Glasgow, 2008
- Trafficking in human beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany, IOM Migration Research Series 29
EVAW’s Position on Prostitution
EVAW campaigns on all forms of violence against women and girls, rooted in an analysis which identifies men’s violence towards us as both a cause and a consequence of women’s unequal status in society. We regard the institution of prostitution as reflecting gender inequality and as being a conducive context for physical and sexual assault. The harms to individual women involved in all forms of prostitution have been well-documented, including heightened levels of violence, problematic substance use to cope, disconnection from their body and criminalisation.
Women’s entry into, and experiences within, prostitution are inextricably linked to gender inequality, the gender pay gap and segregation of the labour market, which continue to disadvantage women; while it is men who form the huge majority of those who seek to pay for sex within prostitution.
Our critique of prostitution is not moralistic, nor do we condemn or infantilise women who are involved within it, rather we argue this is a patriarchal institution through which women are exploited, marginalised, abused and stereotyped. Prostitution, and other structures in which women are objectified, reinforce and perpetuate stereotypes of women, especially where this intersects other aspects of social identity such as race/ethnicity, age and class. Prostitution as an institution reinforces and perpetuates the unequal status of ALL women. We do not therefore support criminalisation of women in prostitution.
For a longer statement of EVAW’s position on prostitution, read our submission to Amnesty International’s consultation on prostitution policy in March 2014 here.
Domestic violence is chronically under reported, however research estimates it accounts for 16% of all violent crime and will affect 1 in 4 women in their lifetime.
- It has more repeat victims than any other crime
- On average, two women in England and Wales are killed every week by a current or former male partner
- One in five women in Northern Ireland has experienced domestic violence
Finding the Costs of Freedom: How women and children rebuild their lives after domestic violence, Solace Women’s Aid, 2014
Women’s Voices on Health: Addressing barriers to accessing primary care, Maternity Action and WHEC, 2014
Evidencing Domestic Violence: a year on, Rights of Women, 2014
Care vs Control: Healthy Relationships, Girlguiding, 2013
New study reveals cost of domestic violence could be 10% of national income, The Open University, 2013
The Survivor’s Handbook , Women’s Aid
Everyday Terrorism: How fear works in domestic abuse, Durham University & Scottish Women’s Aid, 2012
- In the UK, 60% of young people are first exposed to pornography aged 14 years or younger (BBC/ICM poll, 2014)
- 28% of young people aged 11 to 18 think porn definitely “influences how young people have to behave in a relationship” (NSPCC, 2013)
- Young people’s exposure to pornography is linked to unrealistic attitudes about sex; beliefs that women are sex objects; and less progressive gender role attitudes (e.g. male dominance and female submission) (Office of Children’s Commissioner, 2013)
- In 2014, after a successful campaign by Rape Crisis South London, UK Extreme Pornography legislation was amended to criminalise the possession of ‘rape’ pornography.
Why Criminalise the Possession of Rape Pornography, Clare McGlynn & Erica Rackley, Durham Law School Briefing Document, Durham University, 2014
“Basically… porn is everywhere”: A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effect that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People, Office of the Children’s Commissioner, 2013
Girls’ Attitudes Survey, Girlguiding 2013