Following the wave of condemnation of male violence against women in the wake of the suspected murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who disappeared in London last week while walking home, the JPIMedia Data Unit examined a Home Office database of crimes recorded by police forces across England and Wales to see how widespread violence against women and girls is.
It revealed that 37,660 sexual assaults of female victims aged 13 or over and 37,512 rapes of women aged 16 or above were recorded in the year to March 2020.
In Lincolnshire there were 520 sexual assaults of female victims aged 13 or over, an average of ten per week, and 603 rapes of women aged 16 or above, which was an average of 11.6 per week.
Over the same period of time there were 92 sexual assaults of male victims aged 13 or over and 35 rapes of men aged 16 or above.
Deputy Chief Constable at Lincolnshire Police, Jason Harwin, said: “The tragic death of Sarah Everard has brought into sharp focus what has been an ongoing concern for women, and this has been felt across the country.
“The reporting of stranger attacks in Lincolnshire is extremely rare, but that does not lessen that fear that it could happen to you, or someone you care about.
“Our job is to protect you and so please, never hesitate to call us if you are feeling threatened or intimidated, or you see something that raises your suspicions. If you need to call us on 999, and if speaking would put you in danger, don’t speak. Press 55 when prompted and we will know you need us.
“Reducing violent crime is a top priority for us and alongside this we will act swiftly and investigate meticulously.
“Working with our partners, we aim to create a safe environment for victims of crime: to report, to speak about your experience, to be listened to and to be supported through sometimes very difficult circumstances.
“The safety of women and girls is paramount, and we are here to listen, support, and help you.”
An analysis of figures from Lincolnshire Police reveals the risks that women face, with murder, rape and abuse contributing to what campaigners describe as a deadly ‘global pandemic’ of violence against women.
The most recent official statistics at police force level show that 11 women and girls were killed in the area between April 2016 and March 2019.
According to a report from the Femicide Census, a research and campaigning organisation, 16 of those killed in Lincolnshire in the decade to 2018 were females aged over 14. They were all killed by men.
And Lincolnshire Police figures show that more than 800 women and girls reported rape in just a year.
Home Office statistics show that women are disproportionately impacted by sex crimes and are more likely to be victims of stalking, harassment and domestic abuse than men.
Of the 896 rape cases recorded in Lincolnshire in the year to March 2020, 90% involved female victims, as did 82% of 731 sexual assaults dealt with by the force in that time.
There were also more than 10,000 crimes flagged as domestic abuse by officers in that period – the equivalent of 14 in every thousand people being violently or psychologically abused by someone they know.
Figures for the whole of England and Wales show that at least two-thirds of domestic abuse victims in that period were female.
More than 70% of the 2,075 women and girls killed in the decade to March 2020 knew their murderer, compared to almost half of the male murder victims. Women are more likely to be killed in a domestic setting, while men are commonly killed on the streets.