April 11, 2012
A recent poll conducted by the parenting website Mumsnet revealed 83 percent of women who said they were sexually assaulted or raped did not report the crime to police, and 29 percent did not even tell friends or family.
A total of 1,609 females responded to the survey. Of these, 10 percent said they had been raped and 35 percent sexually assaulted. Nearly one-quarter of these victims were assaulted more than once, and two-thirds knew their attacker.
"We simply shouldn't accept that we live in a country where one in ten women are raped and over one-third sexually assaulted," said Justine Roberts, Mumsnet's co-founder. "Things are made worse by the feeling among many women that they can't talk about these crimes for fear of being treated unsympathetically, denying them access to practical and emotional support when they need it most."
Mumsnet is responding with a campaign entitled "We Believe You." It seeks to dispel myths -- including that women may invite rape by the way they dress, and that sexual assault cannot occur within relationships -- as well as to support victims.
"We want to see ongoing public campaigns to tackle attitudes to sexual violence, and work with young people in schools to prevent harmful behaviors developing in the first place," said Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition.