More strength needed to report rape than deal with the death of a parent
Published: 26 May 2010
- 27 May 2010
According to the poll results, 90% of respondents thought you needed to be very strong emotionally to tell the police you’ve been raped. This compares to 84% when asked about dealing with the death of one of your parents.
The poll for the charity, which gives help and support to victims and witnesses of crime, also showed that people think you need to be emotionally stronger to deal with losing a pet than having a bag, purse or wallet stolen. Nearly half (46%) thought you needed to be emotionally very strong to deal with losing a pet compared to 37% when asked about having a bag, purse or wallet stolen.
Differences across the age groups were highlighted in the poll, which asked how people would get through a series of challenges in life. 18-24 year-olds felt a person would need the same amount of emotional strength to deal with losing a pet as being burgled (28%). This is despite young people being more likely to be a victim of burglary than any other age group.
This contrasted sharply with responses from the 65+ age group. Here three times as many people thought you needed to be very strong to deal with being burgled (71%).
On having your bank account cleared out by fraudsters eight out ten 55-64 year-olds said a person would need to be emotionally very strong as did 83% of the 65+ age group who put it on a par with the death of a parent. This was almost double (44%) the responses from the18-24 age group.
All those surveyed aged 55 and over thought people would need more emotional strength to deal with their bank account being cleared out than: caring for a sick child, giving evidence in court, dealing with a divorce or separation, moving home or having a bag or purse stolen.
The poll findings come in the same week as Victim Support launches its new brand identity centred on strengthening the hand of victims and witnesses of crime with the charity’s new strap-line, ‘find the strength’ reflecting its desire to help victims and witnesses get over the crime that they have suffered. The charity helps over 1.5 million people a year by giving emotional support, practical help and information to help people make sense of the criminal justice system and find the strength to deal with what they have been through.
Commenting, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Victim Support, said: “These findings underline the courage needed to report rape to the police and the different perceptions of the levels of strength needed to deal with the impact of crime. Victim Support gives emotional support and help to people affected by crime which enables them to find the strength they need to deal with its impact. Last year 20,636 people in England and Wales were referred to us who had been the victim of a serious sexual offence and were able to get help as a result.
“The differences between the age groups in the poll could point to young people underestimating the emotional impact of particular offences and older people feeling more vulnerable or being more aware of the emotional strength needed to deal with crime. It underlines that different people have different needs in finding the strength to deal with crime.
“At Victim Support we recognise this by ensuring that victims’ needs are assessed and that they are given a tailored package of emotional and practical support. With 50% of crime going unreported, our new modern brand identity launched this week, will help us boost our profile, reach out to more people and raise funds to invest in the support we give. This will mean that more victims and witnesses of crime are aware of the support and help on offer. Our new strap-line ‘find the strength’ reflects our desire to help victims and witnesses get over the crimes that they have suffered.”
ICM asked respondents how emotionally strong they thought a person needed to be to get through a number of different challenges in life, ranking emotional strength from 1-10, with 1 being not strong at all and 10 being extremely strong. Very strong is characterised as respondents ranking emotional strength as 8-10, fairly strong as 5-7 and not very strong 1-4.
ICM interviewed a random sample of 2002 adults aged 18+ via online between 26th – 28th March. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.