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Statistical Overviews

Rape and Sexual Assault

In 1999, law enforcement agencies received reports of an estimated 89,167 forcible rapes, a 4% decline from 1998. (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 15 October 2000. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1999. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 25.)

The highest percentage of rape offenses are those committed by force, or 89% of rapes reported in 1999. Attempts or assaults to commit forcible rape accounted for the remaining 11%. (Ibid.)

In 1999, participating law enforcement agencies made an estimated 28,830 arrests for forcible rape. (Ibid.)

Of those arrested for forcible rape in 1999, 44% were under the age of twenty-five, and 61% were white. (Ibid.)

An estimated 64 of every 100,000 females in the country were reported rape victims in 1999, a decrease of 5% from the 1998 rate, and 11% from the 1995 rate. (Ibid.)

By community type, in 1999, the forcible rape rate in metropolitan areas was 67 per 100,000 females; outside metropolitan areas, 66 per 100,000 females; and in rural counties, 45 per 100,000 females. (Ibid.)

In 1999, almost seven in ten rape or sexual assault victims, in contrast to fewer than five in ten aggravated assault victims, knew the offender(s) as acquaintance, friend, or intimate. (Rennison, C. August 2000. Criminal Victimization 1999, Changes 1998-99 with Trends 1993-99, NCJ 182734. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

Nearly 25% of surveyed women and 7.6% of surveyed men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime. (Tjaden, P. and N. Thoennes. July 2000. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, NCJ 181867. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Of the estimated 4.8 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults perpetrated against women annually, approximately 2 million will result in an injury to the victim, and 552,192 will result in some type of medical treatment to the victim. (Ibid.)

One-third of all sexual assaults reported to law enforcement agencies involve a victim under the age of twelve; one in four of these victims is male. (National Center for Juvenile Justice. September 1999. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.)

In sexual assaults of adults, the offender was a stranger in 25% of incidents, a family member in 12% of incidents, and an acquaintance in 63% of incidents. (Ibid., 30)

In 1998, females sustained rape or sexual assault at a rate fourteen times that of males (2.7 versus 0.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons). (Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). July 1999. Criminal Victimization 1998: Changes 1997-98 with Trends 1993-98. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

In 1998, 74% of rape or sexual assault victims knew their offenders, and 18% of victims were victimized by an intimate. (Ibid.)


National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Reach for the Stars
April 22-28, 2001
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