Intended for healthcare professionals


Time to talk about rape

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 28 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1034
  1. Rhona MacDonald, editorial registrar. (
  1. BMJ

    If men remember that women are their mothers, daughters, and wives they may change their laws

    Personal view p 1089

    The global statistics on sexual assault against women are shocking. At least one in every five women experiences rape or attempted rape during her lifetime.1 The recently published report from the United Nations Population Fund on the State of the World Population 2000 is the latest of many official reports that have documented the size of the problem.2 Yet despite clear documentation and the fact that much attention has been paid to the issue of sexual violence against women at international level, the problem is getting worse.

    The UN report and other data make it clear that the incidence of rape and other forms of sexual violence is increasing worldwide.3 Yet even official figures underestimate the scale of the problem because the proportion of rapes reported to the authorities varies from …

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