Monday, June 19, 2006

Drop in Rape cases...statistically at least.

Statistics Show Drop In U.S. Rape Cases!

Apparently the number of rapes has delined from 2.8 rapes every 1000 people in 1978 to 0.4 rapes every 1000 people today !!!

Some excerpts...
Many criminologists and victims' advocates say that these numbers could be a statistical mirage, because rape is still underreported and poorly understood. But others say they have been convinced that there is real improvement and that a devastating crime has been receding from American life.
Not everyone is convinced that things are getting that much better. Many who work with rape victims say they do not believe there has been a widespread decline in the number of attacks. Instead -- despite the years of attempted outreach to rape victims -- they say the crime may be as hidden now as ever.

Now, though, some experts are saying they have been won over by decades of data showing the same encouraging thing: Rape in America is receding, and rapidly.

One measure is the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks thousands of respondents 12 and older about crimes that have happened to them. This survey, which is meant to capture offenses that weren't reported to
police, is the one that depicted the 85 percent decline in the per-capita rape rate since 1979.

Another way to track rape's apparent decline is through the nation's police reports, which are aggregated every year by the FBI. Their reports, dating to the mid-1980s, show that rape reached a peak in about 1992, with 0.4 rapes reported to police per 1,000 people.

Since then, reported rape declined about 25 percent by 2004, the most recent year for which data were available. In that year, the rate was about 0.3 reported rapes per 1,000. Besides the fact that not all rapes were being reported, the two studies' differ because the FBI reports define rape more narrowly, excluding instances involving male victims. Both classify attempted rapes as "rape."

Last week, the FBI released its preliminary crime data for 2005, which showed that reports of rape had again fallen slightly -- even as other violent crimes such as murder and robbery ticked worrisomely upward.

Interesting statistics...but for me the jury is out on this one...while the numbers are going down, I shall sit on the fence for something more concrete to convince me of either reasoning.


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