London nightlife has seen a huge rise in the number of reported rapes and sexual assaults, which Broadly uncovered in a new report. Through a freedom of information request, the website was able to reveal that between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2016, Metropolitan Police in England's capital faced a 136% rise in reported rapes and a 119% increase in sexual offences, including sexual assault.
The city's legal system has not caught up this surge. There was only a 90% increase in arrests for rape and other sexual offenses, with a mere 32% of those arrested in 2015 and 2016 receiving criminal charges. The conviction rate for rape cases in London rests at 5.7%, according to RapeCrisis.Org. In this same period, there were 358 reports of sexual offenses at bars and clubs, a 121% increase from the same period between 2011 and 2012, as well as 52 reported rapes, twice as much from the matching 2011-12 timeframe.
As Broadly notes, these numbers could reflect increased awareness and a decreased stigma on the victims. However, this does not excuse the numbers. "It's possible that the higher reporting rate doesn't reflect an increase in sexual assaults, but rather the fact that women are growing increasingly confident that they'll actually see justice in some form... Regardless of the cause in the rise, the statistics reveal how endemic sexual assault and harassment are in nightlife."