As many as 3-in-10 women may have been raped

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As many as 3-in-10 women may have been raped

Just one tenth reported rape to police

TORONTO December 11th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1658 Canadian adults, 795 of whom were women, close to one fifth of women have been sexually assaulted or raped (17%), and a further one eighth decline to answer the question (12%), for a total of 3-in-10 women who may have been raped (29%). Incidence of having been raped is higher among the least wealthy (23%), in BC (23%), the least educated (22%) and among those with children (21%).

Assailant most likely date or acquaintance or family

Among those women who say they have been raped, one quarter say it was by an acquaintance or date (24%), followed by those who mention a family member (16%), then a person in authority (9%), a friend (7%) or more than one of these (9%). One fifth say the assailant was someone other than those listed (21%).

One tenth reported rape to police

Just more than one tenth of the women who had been raped reported the assault to the police (12%), one twentieth prefer not to answer (4%), and more than 8-in-10 say they did not (85%).

1-in-20 males report being raped 

One twentieth of males (5%) report having been raped, and a further tenth prefer not to answer (12%), which may suggest as many as just less than a fifth of males have been raped (17%). Incidence of reported male rape is highest in Atlantic Canada. Males are most likely to report the assailant as family (19%), acquaintance (14%) or person in authority (10%). Just more than a twentieth of males who have been raped reported it to police (7%), while the vast majority say they did not (82%).

"These findings quantify what has been anecdotally obvious since the Ghomeshi and Cosby affairs became news; women do not trust the authorities, nor the way their cases will be handled, enough to report something as deeply damaging as rape to the police. The higher than expected incidence of males who have been raped indicates this is a problem which crosses gender barriers," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.