Sarah Everard one year on: The scale of violence against women in the Thames Valley

New analysis shows the amount of rapes and sexual assaults on women in the six months after Sarah's death
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Over 12 rapes occur each day in the policing area covering Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, following Sarah Everard’s murder.

New Home Office data shows that in the six months since Sarah's death an average of 12.1 cases are reported to Thames Valley Police against women and girls per day.

Yesterday (12 March), marked the one year anniversary of the 33-year-old woman's death at the hands of Wayne Couzens.

Thousands of incidents have been reported to Thames Valley PoliceThousands of incidents have been reported to Thames Valley Police
Thousands of incidents have been reported to Thames Valley Police

Couzens was a serving police officer, the case sparked uproar across the country concerning violence against women and girls.

National World, has analysed new Home Office data revealing the scale of violence occurring against women.

Between April and September 2021,1,231 rape offences and 1,274 sexual assaults were recorded by Thames Valley Police.

Out of these cases 2,221 involved female victims.

This equates to 12.1 reports of a sexual assaults and rapes each day and 1.6 involving male victims.

Legally, rape can only be committed by males.

Statistics show the number of rapes, rather than the amount of unique victims.

Leading feminist lawyer and founder of the Centre for Women’s Justice, Harriet Wistrich, said it is important to remember that many victims do not report their assaults.

Rape Crisis chief executive officer Jayne Butler said “the vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults never get reported”.

The latest annual crime survey of England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows 0.8% of women aged 16 to 74 said they had experienced rape or assault by penetration, or attempts to do so, in the last year, as of the year ending March 2020.

That would mean around 180,000 women had experienced such an assault in just one year, based on mid-2020 population estimates – the equivalent of 493 per day.

The same survey showed 0.1% of men had experienced a rape over the same year. This would equate to 15,000 men.

Ms Butler said there “have been few real steps taken to tackle the misogyny that is widespread throughout British society and our state institutions”, despite public outrage in the wake of the deaths of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa (killed in London in September 2021) and Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (sisters stabbed to death in London in June 2020, with police officers later sharing selfies with their bodies).

“Violence against women and girls feels pervasive, inescapable and unavoidable,” she continued.

“The opportunity for radical change is here. In the past year, report after report has been published detailing institutional failings and giving recommendations for what needs to change.

“Apologies and outrage have flowed, but progress has felt unbearably slow. It doesn’t feel like everyday life and experience of women has changed at all.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police take all reports of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously.

"We remain committed to preventing and detecting offences of this nature and would always encourage victims to come forward, where they will receive specialist support and will be treated with sensitivity and compassion.

“Any reported offence will be thoroughly investigated, and we will always do everything possible to identify those responsible and take the most appropriate action against them.

“Thames Valley Police are working with partners to ensure that we provide excellent levels of victim care and high quality investigations.

“We would encourage all victims of sexual offences to report these by calling Thames Valley Police on 101, or if you are in immediate danger, calling 999. “There is also further information on our website of how to report and resources for victims of sexual offences and rape. https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/.”