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Statistics about Sexual Assault and the Canadian Criminal Justice System

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Less than half (43%) of sexual assault incidents reported to police resulted in a charge being laid; of these, half (49%) proceeded to court; of which just over half (55%) led to a conviction; of which just over half (56%) were sentenced to custody in a correctional centre.

Only one in five (21%) cases of sexual assaults reported to police in Canada results with a trial.

Only one in nine (11.5%) cases of sexual assaults reported to police in Canada results with a conviction.

Only one in fifteen (6.5%) cases of sexual assaults reported to police in Canada results with the perpetrator being sentenced with jail time.

Source Statistics Canada, From arrest to conviction: Court outcomes of police-reported sexual assaults in Canada, 2009 to 2014, (Released Date: October 26, 2017)

Out of 37, 855 sexual assault crimes reported to police in Canada in 2017, only 11, 495 (less than a third) resulted with charges against the perpetrator. Source: Statistics Canada, Incident-based crime statistics 

Out of 4,279 of sexual assault crimes reported to police in British Columbia, 660 were declared as “unfounded” (15%) and only 1,600 (less than 40%) ended with charges against the perpetrator. Source: Statistics Canada, Incident-based crime statistics, police services in British Columbia

Out of 81 sexual assault trials that were concluded in Supreme Court in British Columbia in 2017, 27 (a third) resulted with acquittal (not guilty). Most of these judgements are not available to the public so there is no way to scrutinise judges’ decisions to find those accused of sexual assault crimes not guilty.

Source: BC AG FOI file No. 555898

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