(Black Press file photo)

Reports of sex assault in B.C. spike after #MeToo goes viral: Stats Canada

The agency says reports of aggravated sexual assault went up by nearly 50 per cent

Reports of sexual assaults spiked across the country after the #MeToo movement went viral last October, according to Statistics Canada data released Monday.

Non-violent sexual assaults reported to police went up by 16 per cent in B.C., while reported aggravated sexual assault went up by 45 per cent.

IN-DEPTH: #MeToo at Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

The agency did not outright attribute the increase to #MeToo, but said the movement “may have had an impact on the willingness of victims to report sexual assault incidents to police.”

Nation-wide, Statistics Canada also said that the number of “unfounded” reports, meaning police determined no crime had taken place, had dropped from one-in-five to one-in-seven between 2016 and 2017.

Serious crime on the down-swing

The data also suggested serious crime has dropped noticeably in B.C. for the first time in three years.

The agency’s crime severity index, which measures changes in the severity of police-reported crime from year to year, declined by five percentage points from 2016 to 2017.

The index gives more weight to crimes like murder and sexual assault compared to minor crimes like mischief.

It had declined by just 0.62 points from 2015 to 2016, after rising by 3.2 points annually for the two years before that.

The index declined in only three other provinces: Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The severity of violent crime in B.C. grew by half a percentage point, while non-violent crime in the province dropped by 6.6 points.

Among youth, the severity of violent crime jumped up by nearly 11 points, while non-violent crime went up by more than 34 points.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Urban Safari Rescue Society starts online video presentations

Animal shelter struggling to stay afloat during pandemic

White Rock’s promenade to close to the public

Public access to popular waterfront walkway closing April 10: city

Young Muslims offer helping hand to isolated residents throughout Lower Mainland

Neighbourhood Helper campaign aims to get help to people who can’t leave their homes

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps closed due to COVID-19

Access restricted to Crescent Beach over Easter weekend, City of Surrey announces

SIMPSON: In taking care of its vulnerable, Surrey is showing what it’s made of

Stories about people helping others have overwhelmed the newsroom since COVID-19 hit community

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read