121 people undertook the survey, however the survey site only enabled the results of 100 to be visible, (without a large investment), but the trends were becoming apparent.
1. How many women get raped each year in England and Wales?
The answers ranged from 0 – 800,000.
In figures released by the Home Office in November 2014 the amount of rapes reported to the police was 22,116, however, it is generally believed and accepted that due to the lack of reporting that the actual number of rapes of women each year is around 85,000.
2. How many men get raped each year in England & Wales?
The answers here ranged from 5 – 5 million
The Home Office Report above stated that the figure was around 12,000.
3. What do you think rape is?:
Sexual assault by a stranger 32%, Sexual assault by someone who is known 32%, an assault that can be committed orally, vaginally, or anally 88%, other 17%. (Some people gave more than one answer).
Rape is penetration by penis, other part of the body or object when it is vaginal, or anal.
4. Would you believe a victim who was drunk? (whilst not being particularly clear about what I was asking; most people understood it to mean, if a victim was drunk at the time of the rape, would their evidence be believed).
75 people would believe; 9 wouldn’t; 10 said maybe and 1 refused to answer.
There is no reason why a victim who was drunk, would not tell the truth, any more than anyone who was sober. Many victims are plied with alcohol, or drugs by rapists, in an effort to make them less credible as witnesses. This shows planning and forethought on behalf of the rapist. Rapists may well single someone out who appears to be drunk, especially if they can break them away from a group, again because they feel that a jury will be less likely to believe the victim.
5. Would you believe an offender who was drunk? (Again this was misunderstood by some, and I was challenged by someone who said this should say alleged offender – but that presupposes that victim’s have only been raped when someone is found guilty, but I accept it could have been more clearly stated).
22 people said they would believe an offender; 34 said they wouldn’t; 27 said they might and 9 others were unclear what was being asked, or felt that drunk or sober a rapist would lie.
6. What makes someone most likely to be raped?
Being in a relationship 15; being drunk, wearing inappropriate clothing, being young 4; being out alone at night 11; other 65
The current stat for those being raped by a partner or previous partner is 56%. Some of the old myths remain as shown by the other stats. The “other” most people stated was being female. Most rapes happen in the home, so that debunks being out alone.
7. What would make you think someone was a rapist?
83 people said you couldn’t tell; 10 people said “other” and 1 said the class someone was.
Rapists come from all classes, races and backgrounds. You cannot tell what a rapist looks like. Rapists are also not the strangers that some people believe them to be, but are often family members or close family friends or partners.
8. How drunk would someone need to be to not be able to consent? This was the most contentious question, it was also the one that had the least answers.
1-3 drinks 41; over the drink drive limit 37; totally legless 49 (some people gave more than one answer) one person believed that even if the victim was totally legless they were still able to consent.
There is no specific limit to the amount of alcohol that someone can have before they become unable to consent. Weight, timing of last meal, metabolic rate, drugs, being used to alcohol, and many other factors may all have an influence on someone’s ability to be aware of consent, or to make an informed choice to consent.
9. How long after rape is too long after to report?
A week – one month 4; one month – 5 years 2; over 5 years 3; Never 82
There is no legal limit on how long after you can report rape. There may be issues of a lack of forensic evidence the longer the crime takes to report, and therefore it may be harder to gain a conviction.
10. Do you feel you understand about rape?
Yes 56; No 14, a bit 10, & 2 didn’t like the question. The others didn’t answer.
Of those who did answer yes, some of their answers implied that they understood less than they thought.
This survey echoes many larger surveys, that highlight that the understanding of rape is still very poor. This needs to change.