Rape and Sexual Assault

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations's Uniform Crime Reports, an annual statistical compilation of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies across the nation, in 1997, there were 96,122 reported forcible rapes. (Federal Bureau of Investigation. (released November 22, 1998). Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1997, p. 26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

An estimated 70 of every 100,000 females in the country were reported rape victims in 1997, a decrease of 1 percent from the 1996 rate, and 13 percent from the 1993 rate. (Ibid.)

The 1997 National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes both reported and unreported crimes, found that despite a decline of 7 percent in the nation's crime rate in 1997, rates of rape and sexual assault did not decline. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. (1998, December). National Crime Victimization Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The National Violence Against Women Survey, the first-ever national study on stalking, sponsored jointly by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that in the 12 months preceding the study, 0.3 percent of all women surveyed experienced a completed or attempted rape, and 1.9 percent experienced a physical assault. (Violence Against Women Grants Office. (1998, July). Stalking and Domestic Violence: Third Annual Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Women Act, p. 7. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Using a definition of rape that includes forced vaginal, oral, and anal sex, the National Violence Against Women Survey (cited above) found that 1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men has experienced an attempted or completed rape as a child and/or an adult. According to estimates, approximately 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. (Tjaden, P. & Thoennes, N. (1998, November). "Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey," p. 2 & 5. Research in Brief. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.)

The National Crime Victimization Survey found that in 1996, more than two-thirds of rape/sexual assaults committed in the nation remained unreported. (Ringel, C. (1997, November). Criminal Victimization in 1996, Changes 1995-96 with Trends 1993-96, NCJ-165812, p. 3. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

More than 52 percent of all rape/sexual assault victims were females younger than 25. (Perkins, C. (1997, September). Age Patterns of Victims of Serious Crimes, NCJ-162031, p. 1. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

Injury sustained by females during rapes and/or sexual assaults affected whether law enforcement was notified. Females who suffered physical injury in addition to the injury suffered from the rape or sexual assault itself reported 37 percent of those victimizations; while 22 percent of rapes and sexual assaults without an additional physical injury were reported. (Craven, D. (1994.) "Sex Differences in Violent Victimization," NCJ-164508, p. 5. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Note: OVC makes no representation concerning the accuracy of data from non-Department of Justice sources.

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