The rape riddle: When is 6% not 6%?


I had a difficult time thinking of a title for this post, one of the contenders was: “Fun with pie charts” (well, because, for me I really do have fun with pie charts). But seriously I did want to highlight the fact that a dismal statistic (the rape conviction rate) is actually pathetic.

One of my cyberfeminist-buds sent me a link to The Fawcett Society and the Society’s new report that less than 15% of rapes are actually reported. (See also Rape—The Facts.) The key points of the report are:

  • Less than 15% of rapes are reported
  • Only 1 in 5 reported rapes make it to court
  • Only 6% result in conviction

The last two stats are actually rounded up a little, as the (UK) national average for seeing reported rapes ending in conviction is 5.3%, so it is rather a generous rounding up of the dismal conviction rate. (See also the Truth About Rape and the breakdown by county of the national stats, based on the British Crime Survey.)

Anyway, I wanted to put the conviction rate in context of both the reported rapes and total rapes. This is where Stormy’s fun with pie charts takes on a life of its own. :-D

Firstly, let’s clock the visual (using Fawcett’s figure above). Only 15% of rapes are reported (at the end of all of this, I will run through some other scenarios, but it still doesn’t look good for our legal system).

Reported vs unreported rapes

Of course I colour-coded the unreported rapes as green (the green light to rape), because it is very ‘skip-dee-doo-dah nothin’ ain’t gunna happen to our garden variety rapist’ (primarily it is the rapists that are known to the victim that aren’t reported).

Examining what happens to the 15% of reported rapes

Of course now, we need to see what happens with reported rapes. Only one in five end up in court (20%), and of those, less than 6% result in conviction. Let me take just a moment to emphasis that the investigation is discontinued in 80% of cases of reported rapes. 80%. Yes, nothing further happens for 80% of rape victims, zippo chance of ever seeing justice. And remember, we are being very generous saying 6% conviction rate, it’s closer to 5%. Also remember that 14% of victims who go through the trauma of a case, only to see the scumbag walk out without a conviction.

Reported rapes - the breakdown

Well Stormy, this isn’t looking good is it? That red slice (convictions) is a teeny weeny chunck of the pie, and the orange one ain’t so huge either.

OK, but I think we should put this back into the context of ALL (total) rapes happening, not just the reported ones. Using Fawcett’s 15% figure, let’s now put the discontinuations, court but no conviction, and court with (YAY!) convictions. It’s going to look like this:

The real conviction rate 

Yikes! Where the fuck has my little red slice gone??? Dammit, it’s not even registering as one full percent, even after the generous rounding up. WTF!

So let’s put it in terms for the rapist/perpetrator.

85% of the time, he won’t even be inconvenienced.
12% of the time, a bit of inconvenience, he may get some questioning by the police, but that is more likely to go *wink wink* *nod nod* and lots of dudely talk of ‘consent and she was gagging for it, so what’s a guy to do but step up to the plate’?

So in putting those figures together, our ‘charitable dude’ will suffer little or no inconvenience 97% of the time. I’m liking those odds. Wonder if I can find a lottery with those odds?

Now let’s look at those poor bastards in the 3%. Three percent of rapists are going to have to buy or borrow a suit, plus hire a barrister. Oh! the humanity, oh! the expense! Dammit, shoulda gone to a prozzie, woulda been cheaper. Dems da risks when you use the non-professional whores (hey remember, all women are whores, and why pay for it when you can get it for nothing eh?)

But still, it’s pretty good odds (97%) that our charitable dude won’t have to go through all this hassle.

Sadly for our charitable dude, if he is unlikely enough to find himself in the midst of all this inconvenience and cash outlay, he’s facing a (slightly more than) 25%—75% odds stacked against him, still very much in his favour, but WTF, where’s all the dick impunity that I’m so used to?

Well, even all the other dudes get a bit down on him at this point. Lazy dude, couldn’t be arsed reading the Rapists’ HandbookTM. Didn’t he fucking well know NOT to rape a 16yo (stranger) virgin on her way to choir practice? Besides, it’s up to dudes to keep their own ho’s and bitches in line, not to fuck with some other dude’s property.
*[other] dudes roll eyes* Stoopid dude.

So, stoopid dudes fall into less than 1% of all dude-rapists. Guess it must be a form of acceptable losses for the patriarchy. Because if you look at it, out of a 1,000 girls/women getting raped, 9 or less, will see their rapists convicted.

Fawcett figures - rapists convicted out of total number of rapes

Remember that this is being generous, in reality, it would be 7 or 8 convicted per 1,000 rapes.

“But Stormy, I cannot believe that so many rapes go unreported, and that figure is way too high”. Firstly, I’d reply “bullshit, fuck up and die you rape-apologist”. I’d probably then go on to say, well, I have been raped several times over 30 years, and NONE were reported to the cops (all were known perps BTW, notoriously hard to get a conviction, but the perps are known in c.80% of rapes). I have also known numerous women who have been raped, and a grand total of NONE have reported it either. And I’d probably finish off with “fuck up and die a really nasty horrible death in which your penis shrivels, you rape-apologist”. All because I’m a kick-arse word-smith.

But anyway, I still went on to run several other statistical models to see what would happen to our ‘glorious’ 6% conviction rate. Here goes (the fairy figures):

If only a third of rapes (rather than 15%, which is about a sixth) were reported, this would be the result:
One third reported scenario

And if it were half the rapes reported:
Half reported scenario

So there you have it. “6%” even in fairyland you’d be pushing to get two or three percent conviction rate out of total rates committed.

Contrary to popular (MRA) belief, most women DO NOT REPORT RAPE. And most rapists GET AWAY WITH IT. And rapists are 99% of the time—MALE (and even when the victim is male).

* * *
So the answer to the riddle “When is 6% not 6%?” is:
“When it is in reality, less than 1%.”

18 Responses to “The rape riddle: When is 6% not 6%?”

  1. stormcloud Says:

    Yes, Stormy does attend regular PCA* meetings.
    (*Pie Charters Anonymous)

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Excellent stormy this is the reality wherein we really are living in a rape culture. Really good that the focus is on the number of male perpetrators not as usual on the number of female victims. 6% is not 6% when it is a feminist analysing the statistics and not Government of whatever party, using false statistics in order to reasure the public that male sexual violence against women and girls is not such an important issue as male on male knife crime and also property crimes.

  3. stormcloud Says:

    Thanks Jennifer.
    Not only that, but some really nifty pie charts as well. :-D

  4. manxome Says:

    I’d love to see the pie chart go further (but not love the results, I imagine). Of those

  5. stormcloud Says:

    Hi Manxome!

    I’m sorry but your comment seems to have been lopped off by Akismet. The reason it ended up in Akismet, is that I’ve been under a rather heavy spam attack of the last two to three days, the majority coming from two IPs: and – so I blocked them.

    These two IPs are the origins of most of my spam. However, just looking at my comments queue, even one of my last comments has been labelled as coming from the former (and it isn’t my IP), so don’t know what is going on.

    So apologies if anyone’s comment ends temporarily in the spam queue!

    Try again Manxome!

  6. manxome Says:

    Okay :) To continue, of those

  7. imnotherethisisnthappening Says:


    I keep getting under 2 convictions for every 1000 rapes? Maybe I am going wrong somewhere..

    Either way, it is utterly disgusting.

  8. imnotherethisisnthappening Says:

    Sorry I think I understand now. It is 6% of all *reported* rapes that end in conviction, regardless whether or not they actually got to court.

    Not 6% of just the ones which reached court.

  9. manxome Says:

    I tried, Stormy, but it seems I have a spam-like complexion.

  10. stormcloud Says:

    Manxome – I have fixed the spamulator (I hope), think there is a glitch going on, plus stormy dislikes being bothered with genuine spam (which primarily advertises rape and other violence towards women).

    thisisnthappening – yes, it is 6% (actually 5.3%) of *reported* rapes ending in conviction. Therefore, if we are to properly mathematically do the ’rounding’, I should be using 5% (not 6%), but I was covering the stormyarse for all the mwah-mwah crowd (males) that would say I treated the figures unfairly.

    So, the reality is really, only 1 in 5 of reported rapes make it to court (20%) and only 5% result in conviction.

    Therefore, 75% of cases that go to court result in the defendant getting off

    That is far better odds than for any other crime. Rapists really have little fear of anything happening to them, even with the inconvenience of having to go to court.

  11. manxome Says:

    Dear Spamulator: I am ham I am!

    To take the pie chart further: Of those that?

    Spamulator apparently does not like that question.

    For example [US stats] “21% of convicted rapists are never sentenced to jail or prison time, and 24% receive time in local jail which means that they spend an average of less than 11 months behind bars. (The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice)”

    So, if the UK were similar, that 0.9% is actually around 0.7% if you were expecting a conviction to lead to actual time behind bars, and less than 0.5% if you were expecting that time to have any meaning.

    If one is looking for “justice slice” of pie, they’ll be extremely disappointed.

  12. manxome Says:

    Arrgh. Paragraph 2 reads:

    To take the pie chart further: Of those 0.9% convicted, what is the actual sentence? What percent is time served, probation, community service, a few months in the local jail or get overturned on appeal? What percent is an actual sentence of prison time for more than a few years? In other words, when is the 0.9% not even /that/?

    Continue on.

  13. stormcloud Says:

    Hello my Hammie friend, you finally got thru the spamulator! YAY!

    I have the feeling that most of the convictions here in the UK do actually end in jailtime (usually sentenced to about 3-4, but occasionally more). However, most are out earlier for good behaviour, yaddah, yaddah.

    I’m sure most of our entitled rapists appeal as well.

    I think Jennifer may have a better idea of the sentencing in rape cases.

  14. cassandra1 Says:

    Thank you very much, Stormy, for having taken the time to do the maths and to flaunt your pie-chart skills on this. I have been wondering for some time what the REAL rape conviction rape was given so few cases even get reported et alone get to court. I’ll post a link to this page on another rape forum I’m on.

  15. stormcloud Says:

    I’m also going to add something I said earlier on Sparkle’s thread, about why rape trials by juries just aren’t working (in a justice for women kind of way). I’m posting it on both my current rape threads.

    I think it would be a good idea to dispense with juries for rape cases, and have a panel of three (expertly trained) magistrates instead. Juries are just too sympathetic towards the rapists, and I think in many cases it comes down to “well, I think he did rape or, or at least take advantage of her, but I can’t be 100% sure..” so they find him not guilty. The reality is that the small percentage (20%) of rape cases that make it to court are pre-screened by the police & CPS – these are the cases where the police/CPS think the bastard is guilty, and think they have a better than 50% chance of winning the case. I personally think that of the 20% of cases that make it to court, yep, every one of those bastards is excessively guilty (after all, the pre-screening has been carried out by a bunch of misogynists anyway).

  16. Jennifer Says:

    Regarding sentencing for men convicted of rape, I’m quoting from Rights of Women’s excellent handbook called ‘From Report To Court.’ The maximum sentence for a man raping a woman is life imprisonment but and there is a big but – because maximum sentences are reserved for the ‘worst cases.’ In other words if a male has commited a series of rapes then he will automatically be sentenced to life but that does not mean life because he will be given a minimum term and then released on parole if his behaviour has been ‘good.’ When deciding on sentencing, the crown court judge takes into account whether or not the male rapist not only raped, but also whether he inflicted other degrading physical or sexual assaults. The judge also takes into account the age of female survivor whether she was a young girl or an elderly woman, If a man sentenced to between 12 months and 4 years he will automatically only serve half his sentence before being considered to be released on licence with supervision. If a man is sentenced to over 4 years he will serve between half and two thirds of his sentence, depending on whether the Parole Board recommends his release on licence. It all depends on whether the male rapist is considered to be a danger to society (doesn’t mention females just society). I believe in most cases convicted male rapists are usually only sentenced to between 2 – 4 years. Only cases wherein the male rapist has already a conviction for rape will he automatically be sentenced to life and as I said this does not mean life at all.

    I’m certain that most convicted male rapists do appeal their cases. As we know, the law is a very murky area and if there were any technical discrepancies within a trial this gives the rapist an excellent chance of appealing.

    I personally believe male rapists should all serve an automatic term of 10 years irrespective of whether or not they knew the female survivor, the age of the survivor, whether she was a virgin etc. etc. Rape is both a hate crime committed against women and girls and also a crime wherein it serves to reinforce the misognystic belief that women and girls have less value and rights than men. Men who rape often combine their hated and contempt for females together with the belief they have the right of sexual access to any woman. So rape is often both about reinforcing male power and also male sexual rights over women. In other words it is a gender-hatred crime. The same applies to men who rape other men, they do so because they view the male survivor as either not worthy of being termed a ‘real man’ or because they view the survivor as a homosexual and again he is perceived as not being a ‘real man.’ Such are the male rapists’ twisted logic. Essentially it is about degrading, humiliating and attempting to destroy another human being’s identity and essence. That is why I believe men who rape should receive at least 10 years imprisonment.

  17. stormcloud Says:

    Thanks Jennifer.
    My guesstimate of rapists’ sentences seemed about right (it was based on the sentences I had seen). ‘We’ tend to forget that the sentence is less than (sometimes far less than) what is usually served, and in some cases, pre-trial jail time is taken off the time served.

    I have never heard of any rapist getting the ‘maximum’ (life) for ‘horrific rapes’. This seems to only happen if he kills the victim, then primarily he is regarded as a murderer and not necessarily a rapist. Neither do child molesters get automatic life sentences, and I would argue that child rape severely fucks up in the person in many/most cases, certainly would be ‘horrific’ in my view, and worthy of a life sentence.

    Jennifer, yes I agree with your sentencing guidelines, or at the very least 7-10 years. However, when ‘stiff’ sentences are involved, convictions (by jury trial) are less likely to happen. Even now where there average rapist only stands to get 2-4 years, they are likely to give him ‘the benefit of the doubt’. And of course, he will probably only serve 1-2 years. Hence, rape trials should not be by jury, and by a panel of magistrates perhaps.

    I have never been called for jury duty. But perhaps if I was it would be instead of ‘12 Angry Men‘, it would be One Angry Woman. I know that if I had been on the jury of Dr Rapist, who raped the two teachers, then I would not have left the jury room until a guilty verdict had been reached.

  18. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks Stormy for your comments. You’re right of course in that male rapists do not as a rule receive life sentences. This only happens when male rapists already have a previous conviction for rape and then rape again. I totally agree rape is never a ‘non-violent’ crime but then since it is men who hold the legal power they of course are still refusing to even acknowledge that men raping women is a gendered crime. I’ve served on a jury and it was quite an experience. No, it wasn’t a rape trial just a mundane trial (sic) concerning false imprisonment but even then some of the jurors refused to believe the evidence that a man could be imprisoned in his own home and not try to escape. The imprisoned man had been subjected to pyschological intimidation, but some jurors still refused to believe the evidence. Instead they adhered to their ingrained beliefs and of course since the imprisoned man was a drug addict well he was discredited immediately in their eyes. As for me, I looked at the evidence and considered the defendant was guilty. Yes defendant was convicted on other charges and then we discovered defendant had a history of violence!!

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