Crime Survey of England and Wales – Made To Penetrate Questions Confirmed

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.

Bias And Unasked Questions

STIRitUP is a 24 month collaborative research project looking at interpersonal violence and abuse in young people’s relationships. The project is based in five European countries: England, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy and Norway. STIR is short for Safeguarding Teenage Intimate Relationships.

The project has conducted a survey among 4,500 pupils in these five countries. STIRitUp has published the results of that survey in the Briefing paper 2. This paper presents the survey’s main findings in table 2 — here is an excerpt of that table (only looking at physical and sexual violence):

Gender and incidence rates for experiencing IPVA

Country Gender Physical % Sexual %
Bulgaria Female 11 21
Male 15 25
Cyprus Female 10 17
Male 9 19
England Female 22 41
Male 12 14
Italy Female 9 35
Male 13 39
Norway Female 18 28
Male 8 9


First I’ll just point out the discrepancies between the findings presented in the table and how they’re presented in the text.
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