The “loss” of cases within the criminal justice chain, especially from police to conviction level is known as attrition – a phenomenon that can be observed in every criminal justice system and for every offence type. But is this attrition particularly strong for sexual offences as theories based on the so-called “rape myths” suppose? This question is dealt with by this paper; it studies the different conviction ratios of sexual offences in Europe and tries to evaluate the resulting findings. The data presented are based upon the work done by the expert group for the European Sourcebook (ESB) of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics and a special EU-funded project on "Defining and Registering Criminal Offences and Measures, Standards for a European Comparison". In order to gain a basis for comparison, the differences between the national legal concepts and definitions are discussed. Then attrition and conviction rates (understood as the ratio of suspected to convicted persons) are examined, firstly for different crime types in order to show the relative importance of attrition in the field of sexual offences, secondly with a special focus on rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse of minors in some European countries. Beyond these mere statistical data the question whether there are particular reasons for the selection process in cases of sexual offences is raised.