So often women who have been sexually assaulted suffer in silence. Fear of not being believed or that they will be blamed for what happened often keeps victims from ever reporting crimes to police.
In fact, in the UK the government estimates that 89% of rapes are never reported to police. For those who do report, only 5.3% of cases end in a conviction of rape.
This is not to say that rape is not a problem in the UK. On the contrary, when a popular parenting website, Mumsnet, surveyed over 1,600 of their readers about their experiences with rape or sexual assault the responses were alarming.
The survey found that:
- One in 10 had been raped
- Over one-third had been sexually assaulted
- Over 83% did not report the rape or sexual assault to police
- Over 68% said they would hesitate reporting to police due to low conviction rates
In response to their survey, Mumsnet has launched a campaign called “We Believe You.” The goal of the campaign is twofold – first to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault and rape in women’s lives and secondly to dispel myths surrounding rape that prevent women from reporting.
The campaign has found support from many including Prime Minister David Cameron who said:
“Everyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted or attacked has to know they will be believed and taken seriously so they come forward to get the help and support they need. Once again Mumsnet is helping to raise awareness of a very real and serious issue that we all need to address.”
Abuse survivors deserve to report their crimes and share their stories without fear of not being believed. “We Believe You” are three small words that send such a powerful message.
What do you think about the campaign?
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Photo Credit: Alyssa L. Miller