Sexual assault stats

Statistics Canada says some 3,900 sexual assaults reported to police in 2017 were deemed to be unfounded.

In all, 14 per cent of sexual assaults reported to police were given the "unfounded" classification, down from 19 per cent in 2016.

The figure is double the seven per cent of unfounded cases identified among all criminal incidents in Canada last year, Statistics Canada reports this morning in the first reporting of unfounded cases since the agency resumed collecting the data.

Police give a case the label "unfounded" when officers determine through investigation that the offence did not occur.

Sexual assaults are among the least likely crimes to be reported to police, but the last year 28,551 incidents were reported, with the biggest monthly bump seen in October, coinciding with the "#MeToo" movement.

Statistics Canada says more severe and violent sexual assaults were less likely to be deemed unfounded than incidents such as unwanted touching or other non-consensual sexual contact.

The rate of founded sexual assaults increased by 13 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

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