Edmonton police will release an online tool for victims to report sexual assaults in an attempt to decrease unreported incidents.

There were 743 reported sexual assaults in Edmonton last year out of an estimated 14,117 incidents, according to EPS statistics.

“Our community and government partners still indicate 88 per cent to 95 per cent of sexual assaults go unreported,” EPS Sexual Assault Section Staff Sgt. Christa Pennie said.

Pennie explained the majority of these assaults go unreported because victims feel guilt and shame.

Katie Kitschke, the executive director at the Saffron Centre, thinks the online tool will help encourage victims to come forward.

“I think it will increase reporting, but there’s also another side of it: when it’s done online, you don’t have the human connection with the person, so you can’t see if they’re struggling and need other supports.”

There have been 600 sexual assaults reported to Edmonton police so far in 2018.

The tool is expected to be launched in 2019.

With files from Nicole Weisberg