Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Stranger rape may be rare but they are not ‘one-off’ incidents

A young woman in Berkshire was raped by a stranger early on Sunday morning. Rapes perpetrated by men unknown to the victim are the least common form of rape. However, Det Insp Christina Berenger was wrong when she stated

 "This appears to be a one-off incident in which the offender managed to persuade the woman to move away from a busy area by the club to somewhere more isolated. …"

Rape is not a 'one-off incident', even when the rapist is unknown to the victim. Rapists have one of the highest recidivism rates of any crime because violence against women and girls is not taken seriously by the criminal justice system. This may be the only 'stranger rape' perpetrated by this rapist, but it's statistically unlikely that he has not committed rape before. And, its statistically unlikely that he will never commit rape again.

As with domestic violence murders, it is inappropriate for police to use the phrases 'one-off incident' or 'isolated incident' when discussing male violence against women and girls. The 2013 Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office released released "An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales" which stated that 85 000 women a year are raped in England and Wales, whilst a further 400 000 women are sexually assaulted.

Rape is not ever a 'one-off' incident.

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