Saturday, September 06, 2008

29 Percent Of Utah Women Surveyed Reported Being Sexually Assaulted In Their Lifetime

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

In a 2007 phone survey of more than 1,800 women, nearly 13 percent said they had been forcibly raped in their lifetimes, according to a report released Wednesday by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. An additional 16 percent were sexually assaulted in other ways, such as child molestation, drug-facilitated rape and attempted rape.

Fewer than 12 percent of those incidents were reported to police, the survey indicates. However, in a separate survey of victims of crimes committed in 2006, 25 percent of rape victims said they made a report to police - about the same rate of reporting among rape victims nationally.

"Campaigns exist all over to get people aware of [rape] and try to increase reporting," said Christine Mitchell, director of research for the commission.

The problem with any PR campaign designed to increase reporting is that PR doesn't change the reality behind why most sexual crime victims don't report.

For a PR campaign to be effective it must also reach out to those who are hostile to some people who reported being the victim of a sex crime and not limit itself to trying to change the minds of sexual crime victims.

Part of this will require addressing what is a real sex crime since much of the backlash against those who report involves the accusation that the victim isn't a true crime victim and is instead wallowing in victimhood in order to avoid personal responsibility.

Sex crimes were less likely to be reported than any other crimes in 2006, according to the crime-victimization study. For instance, victims were more than twice as likely to report vandalism as they were to report rape.

With the attitudes many people have about the majority of sex crimes I would be shocked if the study found any other crime as under reported than rape.

According to RAINN 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger. Yet for many people learning that the alleged rapist isn't a stranger causes them make baseless negative assumptions about the validity of the allegation unless the crime is so brutal that the victim is dead or maimed.

These people can think of multiple motivations for the alleged victim to lie, but cannot think of a single motivation for the alleged rapist to rape and then lie about having committed rape.

hat tip: Crim Prof

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:49 AM   0 comments links to this post


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