Photo by Joseph Balzano on Unsplash

Just because people aren't talking about a problem doesn't mean it's not there. Nor does it mean a problem is new when it suddenly becomes part of a national conversation. Sexual assaults on the London Underground have increased by 42% since 2015. In 2015/2016, 844 sexual assaults were reported, and that number leapt to 1,206 in 2018/19. Assaults were more likely to occur during rush hour, and on the night tube. At first glance, it sounds like London has a horrible epidemic on its hands, but the huge increase might be due to the fact that more people are reporting sexual assault.

Local police and Transport for London (TfL) — the government body responsible for the transport system in the city — launched a campaign called "Report It To Stop It," encouraging victims to report sexual assault. "With the campaign in place since April 2015, we fully expected to record a rise in sexual offences and, though it is clearly a concern that so many people are affected by this type of crime, it is pleasing that previously reluctant victims of sexual offences now have the confidence to report this to us," Detective Inspector David Udomhiaye told The Telegraph.

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