New report also shows only a small proportion of offences end in a criminal conviction
One in five women are victims of sexual offences, but only a very small proportion end in conviction, a new study has revealed.
The report, which is the first joint overview of sexual offending in England and Wales, has shown that almost half a million women fall victim to sexual offenders each year.
It is estimated that there are 473,000 adult victims of sexual offences each year, with approximately 400,000 of these incidents involving a female victim.
The report found that the majority of these incidents are for offences such as unwanted touching and indecent exposure. However, the report has found that there are between 65,000 and 95,000 victims of rape every year.
The Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office of National Statistics jointly conducted this first statistical overview, which reveals that only a minute proportion of these offences result in a prosecution of the perpetrator.
Court statistics have shown that over the last three years an average of 5,620 people have been convicted each year for sexual offences, with 1,070 of these being rape convictions. The figures, taken from the crime survey of England and Wales, show that there were 69,000 female victims of rape last year, of which 90 per cent knew their attacker.
The report has also shown that it takes much longer for a rape case to reach completion than almost all other criminal cases. However, Martin Hewitt, a representative from the Association of Chief Police Officers, has said that they were trying to improve recording and reporting practices in order to encourage victims of sexual offences to report them to the police.