This is just a quick update and some comment on the changes to the CSEW questionnaire the Office of National Statistics earlier have promised to make. Daran brought to my attention that ONS had released their latest questionnaire earlier this year and that it indeed included “made to penetrate” questions.
I’ve spent some time reading the new questionnaire and although I am pleased that they did include questions about being made to penetrate I have to wonder why they treated it so differently than the other questions for severe sexual violence. The differences are (as Daran pointed out in his comment):
Made to penetrate questions do not ask about attempts. The Sexual Offences Act Section 4 covering made to penetrate does not include attempts, but neither does Section 1 about rape. This is disappointing.
Made to penetrate questions do not ask about who the perpetrator is. The other severe sexual violence questions differentiate between perpetrators who are partners/ex-partners, family members and anyone.
Given that it doesn’t include attempts and considering findings like the ones from the STIRitUP project I wrote about in another blogpost1 I suspect that we won’t see such a startling number for male victimization as we did in the NISVS reports where just as many men reported having been made to penetrate in the last 12 months as women reported having been raped in the last 12 months (both including attempts).
1. STIRitUP found that UK had the highest rate of sexual violence against teenaged girls from their partner and the lowest rate of sexual violence against teenaged boys from their partners compared to four other european countries.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) on the 12th of February 2015. Ally Fogg has a blogpost on it describing how the fact that CSEW 2014 showed the lowest rate of sexual violence since the records began in 1981 isn’t reported by the media.
Some may recall that I’ve previously written about how I asked the ONS why CSEW doesn’t include victims of being made to penetrate — even though that crime is punishable with up to life in prison according to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 Section 4 subsection 4c and d. The ONS wrote back stating that they would look into adding questions to capture these victims in the CSEW.
A while back I decided it was time to ask for a status update on this matter from the ONS. I wrote them an email asking them how the work with looking into this issue is going and if there is an estimate on which future CSEW will include questions designed to capture victims of SOA 2003 Section 4.4 (c-d). I got a reply the same day stating:
Thank you for getting back in touch with us.
We are now undergoing our annual survey development that Laura mentioned, for which we are agreeing the questions that will be asked in the 2015/16 survey – this is a long process that involves working with our stakeholders and managing the priorities for information gathered by the survey. Capturing victims of those sexual offences of Section 4.4 is part of this process – the process is obviously not yet complete, but at the moment it is our intention that the changes can be made for the 2015/16 survey such that respondents will be asked about these offences with effect from next April.
Although one could’ve wished for these questions to be included sooner this is still a confirmation that they indeed will include them and that we can expect that the 2015/16 CSEW will count victims of being made to penetrate. The CSEW 2015/16 will be likely be published somewhere around February 2017.
This post has also been published on FeministCritics
This post has also been published on Feminist Critics.
On the 22nd of April I wrote a post titled UK: CSEW doesn’t count all sexual offences on my blog detailing how this UK survey doesn’t capture victims of “being made to penetrate” as defined in the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 Section 4.4 (c)(d). The post was based on an analysis I did last year for comments on FeministCritics, Genderratic and Heteronormative Patriarchy for men.
I also wrote an e-mail to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) asking whether my conclusion that these victims aren’t captured by the survey is correct and if so; will they make changes to future CSEW to capture those victims?
Here is the letter I sent on the 24th of April:
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), formerly known as the British Crime Survey (BCS), is a face-to-face victimization survey first conducted in 1982. Here is a bulletin describing what the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office for National Statistics says about what sexual offences the CSEW captures:
These experiences span the full spectrum of sexual offences, ranging from the most serious offences of rape and sexual assault, to other sexual offences like indecent exposure and unwanted touching.
Unfortunately that is a lie and this blog post will explain in some detail why this is a lie and what sexual offence is left out.