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Here's why sexual assault stats are high but reporting low

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June 26, 2013 - 5:35 PM


KAMLOOPS - A 29-year-old Kamloops woman said she didn't think she could get help after her ex-boyfriend allegedly sexually assaulted her in 2011.

The woman, who's name is protected by a court ban, testified today in Kamloops provincial court that she believed because she was living with the accused and had a child with him, the police would just think she was 'crazy.'

"He was on the lease," she said today in court. "I just assumed right away that (the police) wouldn't help."

However, Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said reporting an assault 'goes without saying.'

"Just because you are in a relationship with someone doesn't mean you're immune to pressing charges against someone," she said. "Domestic violence takes place in all shapes and forms."

The woman testified today that she didn't report the alleged sexual assault by her boyfriend in the early hours of June 15, 2011 until he held a knife to her neck that night and threatened her life.

She said she escaped with her son and just the clothes on her back while the accused used the bathroom.

The man is facing multiple charges in relation to these events including sexual assault, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

The man is currently on trial for these charges and remains innocent until proven guilty, however the woman raised a point in her testimony familiar to a support worker at the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre.

"The stats are very high for being sexually assaulted and very low for being reported," said Jody Beesley, community victim support worker at the centre.

Beesley said people sexually assault by a spouse or ex-spouse aren't reported typically for two reasons.

"Number one, they're afraid," she said.

As for number two, she said it gets complicated with past relationships, living together or having children together.

"They still feel that it's not considered a sexual assault because there is a relationship there," she said.

While police encourage victims to report crimes to police, Beesley knows it's not that simple.

She said the centre can help.

"They can phone anonymously if they're not sure," she said.

The centre can provide ideas, suggestions or just an ear.

And for those who don't wish to talk to anyone or press charges, Beesley encourages them to write down the incident just in case. She said it's important to have details if the crime ever were to be reported.

"Keep it in a safe place," she said. "Remember dates, times and details."

To contact the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre, phone 250-372-0179 or visit them online to find out more or find additional online resources online here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email:, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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