The number of prosecutions brought for sexual offences has risen to its highest level ever, jumping 22.5 per cent on last year.In total 11,995 defendants were prosecuted in 2015-16 for sexual offences other than rape, up from 9,789 the year before. The figure has steadily increased since 2012, but never as steeply as in the past year.Sexual offences range from non-consensual sexual touching to serious sexual assault.The vast majority of defendants were men, with women accounting for just 2.7 per cent, and of those prosecuted 78 per cent were convicted.The Crown Prosecution Service’s Violence Against Women and Girls report showed that convictions for rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse have reached a record level. The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is risingAlison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Defendants prosecuted for sexual offencesLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 2 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying Values.Chart graphic.Defendants prosecuted for sexual offencesDefendants prosecuted for sexual offences – Highcharts CloudValuesDefendants prosecuted for sexual offencesSeries 12014/20152015/201602k4k6k8k10k12k14kHighchartsChart context menu Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said the internet had contributed to the overall rise in cases of offences against women, up nearly 10 per cent to 117,568.Ms Saunders warned of a “growing trend” of offences perpetrated on or through social media.”The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is rising,” she said.Contributing to the total were 206 revenge pornography prosecutions, after new laws to tackle the crime were introduced in April last year.The offence of disclosing private sexual images without consent carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Ms Saunders said the internet had also enabled other offences, with defendants in controlling or coercive cased relying on “tactics such as GPS tracking and monitoring phone or email messages”.The conviction rate for rape cases rose to 57.9 per cent of the 4,643 cases brought.However in recent months the CPS has been criticised for prosecuting cases than have ended in collapse.In May a judge criticised a police officer and the CPS for their handling of accusations of gang rape against four agricultural students, which fell apart just as the trial was due to start. He said they bore responsibility for failing to disclose “game-changing” evidence to the defence teams of the men.At the time, the police force said they and the CPS would review the judge’s comments “to learn the lessons of this case.”CLARIFICATION: This article reports the finding of the VAWG report that the conviction rate for rape rose in the year 2015-16 to 57.9 per cent of prosecutions brought. We wish to clarify that though these cases were initially flagged as rape, CPS data show that the majority were eventually prosecuted in the principal offence category of ‘sexual offences including rape’. A breakdown of outcomes in this category is not available.