- In 2009 in Canada, women self-reported 472,000 sexual assaults, according to Statistics Canada.
- Between 1999 and 2004 there has been no reduction in rates of sexual assault in Canada.
- Girls and young women between the ages of 15-24 are the most likely victims.
- Women are fearful. More than one in four (27%) of women worried about their safety when they were home alone at night (compared with 12% of men). Women were nearly three times more likely than men to be afraid when walking alone after dark. Over half (58%) of women who used transit at night worried about their use (compared with 29% of men).
- Victims of sexual assault often suffer in silence, without support. As a result, there is a particular need to have services that are available, accessible, and safe for victims of sexual assault.
- Only 8% of sexual assaults are reported to police. While the rates of sexual assaults have not dropped, reports to police have decreased by 36% between 1993 and 2002. Sexual assaults are much less likely to be reported to police than other crimes including physical assaults and robberies. While sexual attacks are more likely than unwanted sexual touching to be reported to police, the vast majority of both types of assaults go unreported (in 1999, 69% and 81%, respectively).
- Half of victims who didn’t report the assault to police said they believed it was “not important enough” or it was a “personal matter” that didn’t concern the police.
- Victims are also unlikely to seek help from social networks. Only 42 percent sought help from a family member and 62 percent sought help from friends or neighbor. Again, victims of other crimes are much more likely to seek support from family and friends.
- Over 400,000 victims of crime sought help from victim services in 2005/2006. Three-quarters of these victims experienced sexual (23%), spousal (26%), or other form of personal assault. Over two-thirds (68%) of the help seekers were women.
- While victims of sexual assault are very unlikely to go to the police for help, 42% of victim service agencies are police based. In comparison, sexual assault/rape crisis and hospital based sexual assault treatment together account for only 17% of victim services.
- One third of agencies reported that high profile or traumatic crimes within the community increase caseloads. While some agencies report an increase in financial resources in 2005/2006, 11% of victim services agencies reported a decrease.
Brzozowski, J-A. Victim services in Canada, 2005/2006. Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 85-002-XIE, Vol., 27, no. 7
Gannon, M., & Mihorean, K. Crime victimization in Canada, 2004. Statistics Canada – Catalogue no 85-002-XPE, Vol. 25, no. 7.
Kong, R., Johnson, H., Beattie, S., & Cardillo, A. Sexual offences in Canada. Statistics Canada – Catalogue no 85-002-XIE, Vol. 23, no. 6.
Statistics Canada, The Daily, General Social Survey: Victimization 2004. July 7, 2005.