According to statistics provided by Statistics Canada on Tuesday, the number of sexual assaults reported to the police in Canada has risen to its highest level since 1996. Recently released statistics state there were more than 34,200 allegations of sexual assault throughout the nation in 2021, an 18% rise from 2020.
While fewer formal complaints were filed in 2020, the overall rate of sexual assault has been rising continuously for the past five years. According to Statistics Canada, the number of sexual assaults reported to police is still likely to be significantly understated, despite an increase in the public’s awareness of the concerns surrounding sexual violence.
According to data published by the agency, just 6% of sexual assault events suffered by Canadians aged 15 and older in the preceding year were reported to police in 2019.
In addition to killings, criminal harassment, hate crimes, and weapons offences, reports of violent crime have increased by 5% overall, with sexual assaults accounting for 30% of the increase.
Police recorded 788 homicides in 2021, which is 29 higher than in 2020 and a 3% rise nationally. Criminal harassment increased by 10% from 2020 to 2021; non-consensual sharing of personal photographs increased by 8%; obscene or harassing emails increased by 4%, and making threats increased by 3%.
In addition, hate crimes grew by 27% between 2020 and 2021, following a 36% increase the year before. The most notable increases were in attacks based on sexual orientation and religion.