The vast majority of sexual assaults that have been substantiated by police do not result in a criminal conviction or even make it to court, Statistics Canada said Thursday.
New research from the agency surveyed the number of sexual assault allegations that police ruled as founded between 2009 and 2014, noting that this figure is considerably lower than the number of such offences that likely took place.
Of those, StatCan said only 12 per cent, or about one in 10, resulted in a criminal conviction. Most cases never had a chance to attain one, as the research found only 49 per cent of substantiated sexual assault complaints made it to court in the first place.
StatCan contrasted these rates with similar figures for physical assaults, which are nearly twice as likely to both make it through the justice system and secure a conviction. About 75 per cent of physical assaults proceed to court after charges are laid, and 23 per cent of substantiated claims result in conviction, StatCan said.
The research excluded data from Quebec and Prince Edward Island due to an inability to adequately compare data with other provinces.
The StatCan survey acknowledged that the data it surveyed is merely scratching the surface of a complex issue, saying it hopes the report will lay the groundwork for future research.