Information for Survivors
For Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault
Women and girls of all ages and backgrounds experience rape and sexual assault, and it can happen at any time in their lives. Because this is usually perpetrated by men they know, women and girls often choose not to report due to fear, shame or the feeling that they will be blamed or not believed.
Studies have shown that one in two young women will experience some kind of unwanted sexual contact before they reach the age of eighteen. This can range from flashing to rape and all of these experiences can have a lasting effect on the woman. As women feel more able to speak out about their experiences, the demand for justice for women has increased, and over the past twenty years there have been a number of changes in legislation that reflect the seriousness of this crime.
But it’s not just young women who have experiences of rape or sexual assault. Babies, children, young women and women into their seventies, eighties and nineties experience rape. Our figures at Rape Crisis show that only about 40% of women will ever make a report to the police.
Since 1976 the Rape Crisis Centre has been providing free and confidential support to women and girls who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused at any time in their lives.
Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.’
Kofi AnnanGeneral Secretary, United Nations, 1999
Attitudes about rape and sexual assault that blame women and excuse the rapist can serve to silence women. Many women choose not to report the rape to the police for a wide range of reasons and that must remain the woman’s choice.