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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Sexual Victimisation & Stalking

Published: 17 May 2016
ISBN:
9781786522641

Findings from the SCJS 2014/15 on Sexual Victimisation and Stalking.

58 page PDF

1.1MB

58 page PDF

1.1MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Sexual Victimisation & Stalking
4. Less Serious Sexual Offences

58 page PDF

1.1MB

4. Less Serious Sexual Offences

4.1 Summary of key findings

  • Overall, 8.3% of respondents had experienced at least one type of less serious sexual offence since the age of 16, and 2.3% had experienced more than one type.
  • Within the last 12 months, 1.3% of respondents had experienced at least one form of less serious sexual offence.
  • A higher proportion of women than men had experienced at least one type of less serious sexual offence since the age of 16 (13.5% women, compared to 2.7% 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% said that the offender was male. This proportion was higher still for female victims, at 98.8%
  • 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%) and unwanted sexual touching (39.9%), whilst partners were most likely to carry out sexual threats (55.1%).

4.2 Introduction

The self-completion section asks respondents about their experiences of three types of less serious sexual offences:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual threats
  • Touching sexually when it was not wanted

Respondents were asked about their experiences in relation to two reference periods: within the last 12 months; and since the age sixteen. Like chapter 3, this chapter mostly focuses on those who reported at least one type of less serious sexual offence since the age of 16 ( n = 883). The chapter also includes some analysis of less serious offending in the last 12 months ( n = 106).

The chapter examines the overall and varying risk of experiencing less serious sexual offences and victim-offender relationships.

4.3 Overall risk of less serious sexual offences

In 2014/15, the risk of experiencing at least one form of less sexual assault since age of 16 was 8.3%, whilst the risk of experiencing more than one form of less serious sexual assault was 2.3%.

4.3.1 Trends in less serious sexual offences

Between 2008/09 and 2014/15, the overall risk of risk of experiencing at least one, or more than one type of less serious sexual offence did not change.

Breaking this down by different types of less serious sexual offences, the risk of unwanted sexual touching and sexual threats did not change, however there was a decrease in the risk of indecent exposure, from 5.0% to 4.3%.

Looking just at the last two survey sweeps (2012/13, 2014/15), the overall risk of risk of experiencing at least one type, or more than one type of less serious sexual offence did not change.

Again, looking at the different types of less serious sexual offences, the risk of indecent exposure and sexual threats did not change. However, there was an increase in the risk of unwanted sexual touching, from 4% to 4.8%.

Table 4.1 Risk of experiencing less serious sexual offences since the age of 16

Type of less serious sexual offence 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2012/13 2014/15
Unwanted sexual touching 4.8% 4.1% 4.6% 4.3% 4.8%
Indecent exposure 5.0% 5.1% 4.2% 4.0% 4.3%
Sexual threats 2.1% 1.9% 1.9% 1.8% 2.1%
Victim of at least one form of sexual assault 9.4% 8.8% 8.3% 7.6% 8.3%
Base 10,974 13,418 10,999 10,235 9,986

Source: SCJS 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13
Base: All respondents 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15
Variable names: SVINEX, SVST, SVTS, SV_ANY_EV

4.4 Varying risk of experiencing less serious sexual offences

The risk of experiencing less serious sexual offences varied by gender, age and victim status [4] (as defined in the main questionnaire) and socio-economic deprivation. Table 4.2 presents these results.

Table 4.2 Risk of at least one form of less serious sexual assault since the age 16 (%)

Social characteristics   % adults Base
Gender Male 2.7% 4,528
Female 13.5% 5,458
Age-group 16-24 10.0% 836
25-34 8.6% 1,421
35-44 8.1% 1,596
45-54 10.6% 1,794
55-64 8.5% 1,697
65 and over 5.1% 2,642
Victim status in the main questionnaire 1 Victim 10.5% 1,398
Non-victim 7.9% 8,588
Socio-economic Deprivation 15% most deprived 8.7% 1,412
Rest of Scotland 6.5% 8,574
All adults   8.3% 9,986

Base: All respondents (adults aged 16 years and over)
Variable names: SV_ANY_EV, (by) QDGEN, QDAGE, VICFLAG3, SIMD_TOP
1 A victim is defined as a respondent who reported crimes or offences in the main questionnaire (excluding sexual offences and threats) that are within the scope of the survey, took place in Scotland, and occurred within the reference period.

4.4.1 Gender and less serious sexual offending

The risk of having experienced at least one type of less serious sexual offence was higher for women than men. Since the age of 16, 13.5% of women had experienced at least one type of less serious sexual offence, compared to 2.7% of men.

Among those who reported at least one type of less serious sexual offending since the age of 16, more than 9 in 10 (92.7%) said that the offender was male. A higher proportion of women than men said the offender was male, at 98.8% and 60.0% respectively.

4.4.2 Age and less serious sexual offending

It is difficult to gauge the relationship between the risk of less serious sexual offending and age in Table 4.2 , principally because the question refers to all experiences since the age of 16, which may accumulate over time.

Looking at the relationship between the age and risk of sexual offending in the last 12 months, Table 4.3 shows that the risk of less serious sexual offending was highest amongst the 16 to 24 years age group (4.2%).

Table 4.3 Less serious sexual assault in the last 12 months, by age-group (%)

Age-group % adults Base
16-24 4.2% 836
25-34 1.5% 1,421
35-44 1.2% 1,596
45-54 0.8% 1,794
55-64 0.5% 1,697
65 and over * 2,642
All adults 1.3% 9,986

Base: All respondents (adults aged 16 years and over)
Variable names: SV_ANY_12M, QDAGE

4.4.3 Deprivation and less serious sexual offending

The risk of less serious sexual assault since the age of 16 varied in terms of neighbourhood deprivation: 8.7% of those living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland had experienced abuse since the age of 16, compared to 6.5% of those living in the rest of Scotland.

Available income

The risk of less serious sexual assault since the age of 16 was also associated with available income. Respondents were asked how easy it would be for the household to find £100 to meet an unexpected expense. Unlike neighbourhood measures of deprivation, this question addresses the issue of immediate access to funds.

The risk of less serious sexual assault since the age of 16 was higher amongst those who stated that it would be 'a big problem' or 'impossible' to find £100 to meet an unexpected expense, compared to those who stated it would be 'no problem', at 12.1% and 7.9% respectively.

4.5 Relationship with the offender

The relationship between victims and offenders varied according to the type of sexual offence (also see sections 2.8 and 3.6 ).

Of those who had experienced indecent exposure since the age of 16, 70.9% said that the offender was a stranger. Strangers were also most likely to perpetuate unwanted sexual touching (39.9%), followed by 'someone else' the victim knew (30.7%). Indecent exposure and unwanted sexual touching were less likely to involve partners, at 4.2% and 18.5% respectively.

By contrast, sexual threats were more likely to involve partners. Of those who had experienced sexual threats since the age of 16, 55.1% said the offender was their partner. Note that this finding is consistent with the proportion of serious sexual assaults (since the age of 16) carried out by partners (54.9%) (see Figure 3.3 ).

Figure 4.1 presents the results.

Figure 4.1 Victim-offender relationships for indecent exposure, unwanted sexual touching and sexual threats since the age 16 (%)

Figure 4.1 Victim-offender relationships for indecent exposure, unwanted sexual touching and sexual threats since the age 16 (%)

Base: Adults who had experienced each form of less serious sexual assault since the age 16. Indecent exposure (449), unwanted sexual touching (496), sexual threats (242).
Variable names: INEX_5, INEX_3, ST_5, ST_3, TS_5, TS_3,


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