More on Rape

Just started rape in criminal law and the stats at the beginning of the chapter are interesting:

  • Only 32% of rapes are reported. The most common reason they were reported was to prevent further crimes by the same offender against the same victim. The most common reason they were not reported was that it was considered a personal matter.
  • Most rapes occur among people between the ages of 16 and 19, people who are low-income, and people who live in urban areas. There are “no significant differences in the rate of rape/sexual assault among racial groups.”
  • 91% of victims are female.
  • 99% of perpetrators are male
  • 60% of rapes occur at the home of the victim or at the home of “a friend, relative, or neighbor”.
  • 75% of rapes involve a perpetrator who is known to the victim, including 0% of rapes in which a man is the victim and 67% of rapes in which a woman is the victim.
  • 84% of rapes occur without a weapon.
  • Only 10% of rapes involve more than one perpetrator.

  • 70% of victims reported “self-protective action”, most often struggling or attempting to hold the perpetrator after the fact.
  • 50% of victims who fought back felt that they helped the situation.
  • 20% felt it made the situation worse.
  • About half of all rapes result in arrest, regardless of jurisdiction. This is comparable to other major crimes, however acquaintance-rapes are less than half as likely to result in indictment than are stranger-rapes. Acquaintance-rapes are more than three times as likely to be dismissed than are stranger-rapes.
  • “The single most important reason why most rapists are not punished is the failure of victims to report the crime to the police, or their later refusal to cooperate as a prosecution witness.”
  • The victimization rate nationwide is 0.9 victims per 1000 people over the age of 12. The victimization rate on college campuses is 27.7 victims per 1000 female students.
  • Source: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997

    And now some background reading from the recent (Feministing) blogosphere:
    We need to stop demonizing rapists.
    I am a rape victim, not a survivor.
    It’s not sex, it’s rape.
    Disrespect for women’s bodies starts early. (And it is usually women who are raped, see above.)
    Het men and anal sex.


    1. 75% of rapes involve a perpetrator who is known to the victim, including 0% of rapes in which a man is the victim and 67% of rapes in which a woman is the victim.

      Is 0% the correct number here? I’m not quite understanding this one.

    2. sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to make it sound the way it should—100% of reported rapes in which a man was the victim are stranger-rapes. So the 75% number is true when averaged but when divided by gender of the victim, a different pattern emerges (this is a combination of different years: the 75% of all rapes is a 1997 number and the 0/67 numbers come from 2004—the number of women sampled in 2004 was about three times that of the number of men, since it was a cross-section of reported rapes; I don’t know what the sample was for the 1997 number)…is that more clear?

    3. That’s rather unexpected. So no reported cases of rape where the victim is male is perpetrated by someone the victim knows? Does that mean men in the gay community don’t report rape?

    4. that is what it appears to mean—and I’d wager that the majority of unreported rapes are acquaintance rapes regardless of the gender of the victim

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