beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

News

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Sexual assault, stalking and harassment

Published: 17 May 2016 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The proportion of adults reporting experiences of sexual assault and stalking and harassment remains consistent over recent years.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) 2014/15: Sexual Victimisation and Stalking. The publication presents statistics on adults' experiences of sexual victimisation and stalking taken from interviews with almost 10,000 adults.

Stalking and Harassment

The figures show that:

• Overall, 6.4 per cent of adults experienced at least one form of stalking and harassment in the last 12 months.
• The risk of stalking and harassment was equal for men and women.
• Young people, particularly young women, experienced the highest level of stalking and harassment: 12.7 per cent of 16 to 24 years old women had experienced at least one type of stalking and harassment in the last 12 months.

Amongst those who had experienced stalking and harassment in the last 12 months, 45.0 per cent had received unwanted emails and texts, 32.7 per cent received silent, threatening or unwanted phone calls, and 21.9 per cent were subject to obscene or threatening online contact.

More than half (54.9 per cent) of those who experienced at least one form of stalking and harassment in the last 12 months knew the offender in some way, whilst 15.0 per cent said the offender was their partner. Nearly a third (30.8 per cent) did not know the offender at all.

Around one fifth of those (18.9 per cent) who experienced at least one type of stalking and harassment in the last 12 months said that the police came to know about the most recent incident. More women than men said that the police came to know about the most recent incident (at 23.2 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively).

Serious Sexual Assault

Overall, 2.7 per cent of adults experienced at least one form of serious sexual assault since the age of 16, however this was higher for women (4.6 per cent) compared to of men (0.6 per cent).

The overwhelming majority of serious sexual assaults since the age of 16 were carried out:
• by males – 94.1 per cent of victims identified the offender as male.
• by perpetrators known to the victim – 87.4 per cent of those who had experienced serious sexual assault knew the perpetrator, including 54.8 per cent who said it was their partner.

A minority (16.8 per cent) of those who reported experiencing forced sexual intercourse since the age of 16 reported the most recent, or only, incident to the police.

Less Serious Sexual Assault

The SCJS found that 8.3 per cent of adults experienced at least one type of less serious sexual assault since the age of 16 and 1.3 per cent of adults had experienced less serious sexual assault in the last 12 months. This proportion was higher for women, with 13.5 per cent experiencing at least one form of less serious sexual offence since the age of 16, compared to 2.7 per cent of men.

Men carried out the majority of less serious sexual offences. Amongst those who had experienced at least one type of less serious sexual offending since the age of 16, 92.7 per cent said that the offender was male. This proportion was higher still for female victims, at 98.8 per cent.

The offender-victim relationship varied by the type of less serious sexual offence. Some types were more likely to be perpetrated by strangers, such as indecent exposure (70.9 per cent) and unwanted sexual touching (39.9 per cent), whilst partners were most likely to carry out sexual threats (55.1 per cent).

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/crime-and-justice-survey/publications.

The report covers several forms of stalking and sexual victimisation:

• Stalking and harassment includes receiving obscene or threatening correspondence; receiving obscene, threatening, nuisance or silent telephone calls, someone waiting outside the home or workplace; being followed around or watched;
• Serious sexual assault includes forcing / attempting to force someone to have sexual intercourse or forcing / attempting to force someone to take part in other sexual activity when they did not want to;
• Less serious sexual assault includes indecent exposure; sexually threatening behaviour; touching sexually when it was not wanted.
The full statistical publication is available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/crime-and-justice-survey/publications.

The publication presents statistics derived from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) on adults' experiences on the risk of experiencing stalking and harassment mainly in the last 12 months, and less serious sexual assault over the last 12 months and since the age of 16. However, because the number of respondents reporting serious sexual assault in the last year is so low, this section is focused on only those experiencing serious sexual assault from the age of 16. The survey also examines how risk varies among different groups of adults, for example by age and gender; on any relationship between victim and offender, on impacts of assault and on reporting to the police.

The main SCJS survey is based on around 11,472 face-to-face interviews which are conducted in private households. Respondents are also asked to answer a separate self-completion module on more confidential and sensitive issues, including drug taking, partner abuse, sexual victimisation and stalking. The self-completion section of the SCJS 2014/15 questionnaire was completed by 9,986 respondents, which represents 86.6 per cent of all respondents.

This report covers the year from April 2014 to May 2015.

The SCJS is one of the Scottish Government's flagship national surveys delivering robust evidence for the "Safer and Stronger" Strategic Objective. The survey allows the people of Scotland to independently report their experiences and perceptions of crime, and thus influence the continued development and improvement of the Scottish Justice system. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics (including the SCJS) within Scotland can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. More information can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About.