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THE DEVIL YOU KNOW; Nearly nine in 10 rapes against women are committed by someone known to the victim.

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

WOMEN are more likely to be raped by their partner or ex-partner than anyone else, alarming new figures have shown.

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that 45 per cent of rapes against women aged 16-59 in 2016/17 were committed by current or ex-partners.

That is more than treble the 13 per cent of rapes against women that were committed by a stranger.

Experts are a Domestic Abuse Sexual violence." Some 14 per cent of rapes were committed by a friend, and a further nine per cent by a person the woman was on a date with.

Acquaintances outside of work, school, college or university were responsible for eight per cent of rapes in 2016/17.

Meanwhile colleagues or people from school, college or university committed five per cent of the rapes women experienced that year.

Family members were responsible for five per cent of rapes.

It means that 87 per cent of rapists were known to their victim in total.

The figures come as rape crisis centres are facing a lack of funding.

calling for and Bill In late July, Rape Crisis - the national rape support charity in England and Wales - said that some 6,000 survivors remain on waiting lists for help.

They also said that some centres are having to close waiting lists as inadequate funding means they can't always meet the demand for help.

Rape Crisis' centres responded to more than 179,000 helpline calls during 2017/18, but only around 15 per cent of those who have experienced sexual violence chose to report it to the police.

A Rape Crisis spokesperson said: "Around 90 per cent of rapes are committed by known men and as these statistics show it is often by someone the survivor has previously trusted or even loved.

"If a person is in a relationship with someone or has had sex with them before this does not mean that they cannot be raped or sexually assaulted by that person.

"Consent must be given every time two people engage in sexual contact. It is important for everyone to check in with their sexual partners and make sure that anything sexual that happens between them is what they both want, every time.

"We know that sexual violence is about power and control and that perpetrators often feel a sense of entitlement and ownership over women's bodies and actions."

Rebecca Hitchen, policy advisor at Rape Crisis, said: "In the government's recent consultation on the proposed Domestic Abuse Bill we saw sexual violence side-lined once again, which is why we are calling for a Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Bill that properly reflects It's a large go women's lived experience."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and the government is committed to ensuring that every victim has access to the specialist support they need.

"Until 2020, the Government is providing PS100 million of dedicated funding for tackling violence against women and girls.

"This includes protecting funding to 97 rape support centres across England and Wales to provide independent, specialist support to female and male victims of sexual violence."

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CAPTION(S):

It's estimated that a large number of rapes go unrecorded

Experts are calling a Domestic Abuse Sexual Violence
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Aug 1, 2018
Words:550
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