General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Do rape statistics take into account the number of unreported rapes?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) November 5th, 2010

Do statistics for rape and sexual assault take into account all the incidents not reported? Example: According to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 6 women are victims of sexual assault. But is that one in 6 women will report being assaulted, or 1 in 6 are assaulted, and the number has been already adjusted for unreported assaults based on a statistic saying that x number of assaults aren’t reported? I can’t figure out where to find the info on how they came up with the numbers.

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18 Answers

Mikewlf337's avatar

No because they are unreported so there is no way to know if they really happened

marinelife's avatar

No, they only take into account those that are reported to law enforcement.

“According to the 1999 United States National Crime Victimization Survey, only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials.”

“According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, there were overall 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005.[16] Only 16% of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police (Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. 1992).[17] 1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. (according to Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)[18]”

Wikipedia

To show the level of underreporting against reported statistics:

“24% (1 in 4) of Colorado women and 6% (1 in 17) Colorado men have experienced a completed or attempted sexual assault in their lifetime. This equates to over 11,000 women and men each year experiencing a sexual assault in Colorado. (Sexual Assault in Colorado: Results of a 1998 Statewide Survey. 1998. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)

1,794 rapes were reported to Colorado law enforcement in 1997. If compared to the 1998 Statewide Survey, these reports constitute only 16% of sexual assaults.”

Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t believe that the official crime statistics collected and reported by the various law enforcement agencies would include any estimates about unreported rapes, so no they’re not “included,” but I think some advocacy groups and organizations who deal with the issue of rapes have been able to provide reasonably good estimates of how many rapes go unreported.

Edit: Oops! Didn’t read @marinelife‘s answer. It’s much better and more thorough than mine.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@marinelife But where does it say on CCASA’s statistic if they factored in unreported rapes?

BarnacleBill's avatar

I believe CCASA’s data is survey based.

4% (1 in 4) of Colorado women and 6% (1 in 17) Colorado men have experienced a completed or attempted sexual assault in their lifetime. This equates to over 11,000 women and men each year experiencing a sexual assault in Colorado. (Sexual Assault in Colorado: Results of a 1998 Statewide Survey. 1998. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)

1,794 rapes were reported to Colorado law enforcement in 1997. If compared to the 1998 Statewide Survey, these reports constitute only 16% of sexual assaults.

jca's avatar

Which is why it’s so important to report these things – not just so the guilty party can get the punishment they deserve, but law enforcement and social service agencies use statistics when determining budgets and the amount of staff necessary.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jca Yes, it’s definitely important that those who have been raped do their duty to others and report it. Don’t they get that after you have been raped and used as an object for someone else’s pleasure, your job is to make sure statistics are accurate, and fuck your own personal recovery? These bitches that don’t report it – how selfish can they be? Whores.

perg's avatar

@papayalily That’s not fair. Not what JCA said at all, and she makes a good point. She’s not the one inflicting pain on rape victims.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think the fact that we know a lot of people don’t report rapes shows that the system needs to change in regards to how rape victims and rapists are treated. Maybe we should focus changing those things to encourage more people to report the rapes instead of trying to make rape victims feel even worse and blame them for a lack of justice and resources.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@perg By condemning those who don’t report it, she is inflicting pain on rape victims.

perg's avatar

@papayalily Please point out where she condemned anyone.

jca's avatar

@papayalily : did I condemn anybody? I am waiting for you to show me where. you’re “putting words in my mouth.”

MagicalMystery's avatar

@papayalily : you rant about how @jca condemned those who don’t report it, and “fuck their own personal recovery” and she said nothing like that in her post. Why not back up a step, re-read and think before writing?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MagicalMystery I did think before I wrote it. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it was impulsive.

Try to understand being assaulted. The police investigation and the medical investigation is often much worse than the actual rape. If reported, every cop, every lawyer, and every judge will call you a slut and a whore who asked for it. Your friends will tell you that they think you’re a slut. Your boyfriend will dump you because he thinks you’re filthy now, or because he can’t take the drama. You’ll confide in your mother, and she’ll tell everyone she knows, including the ladies at her bookclub. You wish that you could just go back to the actual act of being raped, because that was easier than the aftermath. Many women can’t admit to themselves that they were assaulted because then it means that they’re a rape victim, someone who doesn’t have complete control, and is now going to have to deal with that. After being raped, you can only handle one priority: surviving. To say that anything else is important is to casually disregard what is really going on for someone who’s been raped. To say that, in the scheme of thing, statistics are important is like saying that replenishing the milk in your home is important when the house is on fire.

perg's avatar

@papayalily As much as I understand the pain of which you speak – and yes, I do – I completely disagree that what you describe is the experience of “every” rape victim from “every cop, every lawyer and every judge” and so on as you relate.

While your anger is justified at those who behave that way, @jca is not one of them. I don’t know why I didn’t flag your response as a personal attack from the start and have done with it.

jca's avatar

@papayalily : I understand what you’re saying. What I’m saying is that I did not condemn anybody in my post. I think that’s why @MagicalMystery said you should think before you write – because you are mad about something that I did not say. I think it was a personal attack for that reason.

perg's avatar

@jca Your post sounded like encouragement to me, for what that’s worth

MagicalMystery's avatar

@papayalily: I am not saying “you should think before you write” because I did not like what you wrote. I am saying you should think before you write because you rant about @jca for something she is not addressing at all in her answer. No condemnation that I can see, and when she asks you “Did I condemn anybody? I am waiting for you to show me where?” you do not address that – you just go on about your own anger. Your anger is understood but misdirected at @jca.

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