Rape statistics

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Statistics on rape and sexual assault are commonly available in advanced countries and are becoming more common throughout the world. Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. According to USA Today reporter Kevin Johnson "no other major category of crime – not murder, assault or robbery – has generated a more serious challenge of the credibility of national crime statistics" than rape.[1]

A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries.[2] In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics.[3]

In many parts of the world, rape is very rarely reported, due to the extreme social stigma cast on women who have been raped, or the fear of being disowned by their families, or subjected to violence, including honor killings.[4] Furthermore, in countries where adultery and/or premarital sex are illegal, victims of rape can face prosecution under these laws, if there isn't sufficient evidence to prove a rape in the court. Even if they can prove their rape case, evidence during investigation may surface showing that they were not virgins at the time of the rape, which, if they are unmarried, opens the door for prosecution.[5]

The attitude of the police in many countries often discourages victims from reporting rape: one study in Turkey found that 33% of police officers agreed with the assertion that "some women deserve rape" and 66% agreed that "the physical appearance and behaviors of women tempt men to rape."[6]

Countries may or may not criminalize marital rape. However, even in many countries which do criminalize it, prosecutions for it are exceptionally rare, due to prevailing social views; in many parts of the world the concept is very poorly understood, because sex in marriage is considered an absolute right of the husband, that can be taken with or without the consent of his wife. The very act of a woman refusing to have sex with her husband is considered unthinkable: in one survey 74% of women in Mali said that a husband is justified to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him.[7]

Under-reporting[edit source | edit]

According to the American Medical Association (1995), sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime.[8][9]

The most common reasons given by victims for not reporting rapes are the belief that it is a personal or private matter, and that they fear reprisal from the assailant. A 2007 government report in England says "Estimates from research suggest that between 75 and 95 percent of rape crimes are never reported to the police."[10]

Afghanistan[edit source | edit]

Rape in Afghanistan is a crime which can be legally prosecuted, but in practice it is very rarely reported, because of the immense risks that women face if they report it. Rape victims in the country face a double risk of being subjected to violence: on one hand they can become victims of honor killings perpetrated by their families, and on the other hand they can be victimized by the laws of the country: they can be charged with adultery, a crime that can be punishable by death. Furthermore, they can be forced by their families to marry their rapist. In 2011, Afghanistan made international news in regard to the story of a woman who was raped by a man, jailed for adultery, gave birth to a child in jail, and was then subsequently pardoned by president Hamid Karzai, and in the end married the man who raped her.[11][12] In 2012, Afghanistan recorded 240 cases of honor killings and 160 cases of rape, but the number for both honor killings and rapes is estimated to be much higher.[13][14] In 2013, in eastern Ghazni, a man attacked a woman and attempted to rape her, and as a result the relatives of the woman killed both the woman and the man in an honor killing.[15] In Afghanistan, crimes such as adultery, rape and trafficking are often conflated with each other,[16] and it is generally not acceptable for a woman and a man to be alone together (unless married or related), and if this happens the response can be very violent: an Afghan medical doctor and his female patient were attacked by an angry mob who threw stones at them after the two were discovered in his private examining room without a chaperon.[17][18] Recently, the security forces have been also alleged to rape children in the country.[19]

Australia[edit source | edit]

The Australian Women's Safety Survey conducted by the Bureau of Statistics in 1996 involved a random sample 6,300 women aged 18 and over. It produced incidence finding of 1.9 per cent for sexual assault in the previous 12 months. Known men accounted for over two-thirds of assailants (68%). Only 15% of the assaulted women in the sample reported to the police.[20]

Cambodia[edit source | edit]

In Cambodia, rape is estimated by local and international NGOs to be common,[21] but only a very small minority of these assaults are ever reported to authorities, due to the social stigma associated to being the victim of a sexual crime, and, in particular, to losing virginity before marriage (regardless of how this happened).[22] From November 2008 to November 2009, police had recorded 468 cases of rape, attempted rape and sexual harassment, a 2.4 percent increase over the previous year.[23] Breaking the Silence – Sexual Violence in Cambodia is a report produced by Amnesty International, and released in 2010, which examined the situation of sexual violence in Cambodia. The report found that, in the small minority of rapes which are reported, a very common response is for law-enforcement officials, including police and court staff, to arrange extralegal out-of-court 'agreements' between the victim and the perpetrator (or their families), in which the rapist pays a sum of money which is shared between the authorities and the victim (and her family), after which the victim has to withdraw any criminal complaint against the perpetrator, and public prosecutors close the case. When a rape is investigated, a complainant is generally expected to pay an extralegal sum of money to the authorities, to ensure that the court investigates the case, otherwise progress is slow, and it may take over two years for anything to happen. During the pre-trial period, there is always a risk that the perpetrator’s family will pay a bribe to secure his acquittal or reduced charge.[24]

Canada[edit source | edit]

The most frequently cited research was conducted by Statistics Canada in 1992, which involved a national random sample of 12,300 women (Johnson and Sacco, 1995). The research found that over one in three women had experienced a sexual assault and that only 6% of sexual assaults were reported to the police.[25]

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit source | edit]

Meeting of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In eastern Congo, the prevalence and intensity of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world.[26] It is estimated that there are as many as 200,000 surviving rape victims living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo today.[27][28] A new study says more than 400,000 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo annually.[29] War rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo has frequently been described as a "weapon of war" by commentators. Louise Nzigire, a local social worker, states that “this violence was designed to exterminate the population.” Nzigire observes that rape has been a "cheap, simple weapon for all parties in the war, more easily obtainable than bullets or bombs."

Denmark[edit source | edit]

In 2008, Amnesty International produced the report Case Closed - Rape and human rights in the Nordic countries. While this report criticized all countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), it expressed serious concerns in regard to Denmark, and, the organization has since engaged in a dialogue with the country in an attempt to convince it to change its laws. The Danish criminal provisions regarding sexual crimes, which have remained nearly unchanged during the last 30 years (unlike in other Western countries where sex legislation has changed dramatically during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, under pressure from feminists) have led Amnesty International to declare that "Danish legislation on rape and sexual violence conflicts with human rights principles concerning the need to protect an individual’s sexual and physical integrity and right to self-determination''". Danish laws on sexual crimes fall under a chapter called "Vice Crimes", unlike in most Western countries, where modern definitions such as "Crimes against sexual freedom", or "Crimes against sexual self-determination" or simply "Sexual offenses" have replaced archaic wordings which send the message that rape violates public morality or public order, rather than the rights of an individual to bodily integrity. The definition of rape is very narrow focusing on violence and excludes many situations dealing with other forms of abuse, which, according to the report, are considered rape in most other Western countries. However, the most severe problem with the Danish legislation is, according to Amnesty International, the fact that Denmark is one of few developed countries to maintain several marital exemptions in its legislation: while rape within marriage can be prosecuted (in fact Denmark was one of the first countries to allow for its prosecution), the definition of rape is very narrow and abusive sexual intercourse that falls outside the boundaries of rape is dealt under several other statues which explicitly state that the person commits a crime if he engages in "extra-marital sexual intercourse" with the victim, therefore excluding married victims. Furthermore, the law states that if the perpetrator enters into or continues a marriage or registered partnership with the victim after the rape, it gives grounds for reducing or remitting punishment. Amnesty International has called these provisions "disturbing". In 2011, Amnesty has stated that "Amnesty International has repeatedly urged the government [of Denmark] to bring legislation on rape in line with international law. It is very disappointing that Denmark has rejected related recommendations made in the review, referring to an expert review that has been pending for two years."[30][31][32]

Ethiopia[edit source | edit]

Rape is a very serious problem in Ethiopia,[33] and the country is infamous for the practice of marriage by abduction, with the prevalence of this practice in Ethiopia being one of the highest in the world.[34][35][36][37] In many parts of Ethiopia, it is common for a man, working in co-ordination with his friends, to kidnap a girl or woman, sometimes using a horse to ease the escape.[38] The abductor will then hide his intended bride and rape her until she becomes pregnant. As the father of the woman's child, the man can claim her as his wife.[39] Subsequently, the kidnapper may try to negotiate a bride price with the village elders to legitimize the marriage.[39] Girls as young as eleven years old are reported to have been kidnapped for the purpose of marriage.[40]

Ethiopia is estimated to have one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. A report by the UN found that women in Ethiopia are the most likely to suffer domestic violence at the hands of their partners, and that nearly 60% of Ethiopian women were subjected to sexual violence.[41] The 2004 Criminal Code of Ethiopia creates the offense of rape, by Article 620, which states that: "Whoever compels a woman to submit to sexual intercourse outside wedlock, whether by the use of violence or grave intimidation, or after having rendered her unconscious or incapable of resistance, is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to fifteen years". There are also certain aggravated circumstances which lead to an increased punishment for rape. Apart from the criminal offense of rape, there are also other sexual offenses in the Criminal Code. The age of consent is 18.[42] As can be seen above, a woman cannot charge her husband with rape. However, despite its shortcomings, the 2004 Criminal Code brings major improvements for women's rights in the country, by criminalizing several forms of violence against women, such as female genital mutilation, violence against pregnant women, marriage by abduction, child marriage, trafficking and sexual harassment, though Chapter III - Crimes Committed against life, person and health through harmful traditional practices (Articles 561 - to 570) and other provisions (Articles 587, 597, 625, 635, 637, 648). Article 564 - Violence Against a Marriage Partner or a Person Cohabiting in an Irregular Union is a major step forward.[43]

The Ethiopian military has been accused of committing systematic rapes against civilians.[44][45] Human Rights Watch has repeatedly claimed that the army has attacked, beaten, raped and killed civilians, something which the Ethiopian authorities have denied.[46][47] However, US scientists said that satellite images confirmed reports that the Ethiopian military had burnt towns and villages in Ethiopia's Somali region.[48]

India[edit source | edit]

Rape in India is one of India's most common crimes against women.[49] Marital rape that occurs when spouses are living together can only be dealt under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 which only provides civil remedies to victims (it is a form of non-criminal domestic violence). Marital rape is not a criminal offense, except when spouses are separated. Rape cases in India have doubled between 1990 and 2008[50] Penile and non-penile penetration in bodily orifices of a woman by a man, without the consent of the woman, constitutes the offense of rape under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.[51]

Under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which creates the offense of rape, the age of consent is set at 18, as sex with a girl under this age is considered rape, regardless of consent.[51] In practice, this is rarely enforced, and India is a destination for child sex tourism.[52][53] Sexual violence within marriage is common, with 20% of men admitting to forcing their wives or partners to have sex, in a survey by the Centre of Research on Women, US, and Instituto Promundon in Brazil.[54][55]

In a 1999 news story, BBC reported, "Close-knit family life in India masks an alarming amount of sexual abuse of children and teenage girls by family members, a new report suggests. Delhi organisation RAHI said 76% of respondents to its survey had been abused when they were children - 40% of those by a family member."[56]

Italy[edit source | edit]

In Italy, traditional attitudes towards rape have been slow to change, although in recent years there have been many advances. During the first half of the 20th century, in Italy, like in many other places, rape victims were often expected and forced to marry their rapist. In 1965, Franca Viola, a 17-year-old girl from Sicily, created a sensation when she refused to marry the man who kidnapped and raped her. In refusing this "rehabilitating marriage" to the perpetrator, she went against the traditional social norms of the time which dictated such a "solution". The Criminal Code of Italy also supported this practice, by exonerating the rapist who married his victim. The article of law whereby a rapist could extinguish his crime by marrying his victim was abolished in 1981.[57] The Franca Viola incident was made into a movie called La moglie più bella.

In 1999, in an infamous case that gained international attention, the Court of Cassation of Italy declared a man not guilty of the rape of a woman who was wearing tight jeans, claiming that it was impossible to forcibly remove tight jeans "without the collaboration of the person wearing them" if she resists. The court also equated the removal of the jeans with consent to sexual penetration. Following this ruling, there was outrage, both in Italy and abroad. In Italy, female politicians wore jeans to parliament in protest. It was only in 2008, in a new case, that the Court of Cassation overturned this ruling, admitting that women who wear tight jeans can indeed be raped.[58]

In another case that sparked outrage, in 2006, the Court of Cassation ruled that a 41-year old man who raped his 14-year-old stepdaughter can seek to have his sentence reduced on mitigating circumstances, due to the fact that the girl had been already sexually active and "since the age of 13 had had many sexual relations with men of every age and it's right to assume that at the time of the encounter with the suspect her personality, from a sexual point of view, was much more developed than what one might normally expect from a girl of her age". UNICEF in Italy stated that the decision "seriously violates human rights and the dignity of a minor."[59]

Norway[edit source | edit]

The incidence of rape in Norway for 2010 is given as ca. 35 out of 100 000; there is no in-depth national statistic. [60]

Pakistan[edit source | edit]

Rape in Pakistan has been notable, continues to be a tool for suppressing women in the country.[61] One of the notable cases, in which Uzma Ayub, a 16 year old girl, was abducted by a soldier and policeman, she was repeatedly raped by several person which included an army official, policemen. Her brother was murdered. In one case, a teenage girl was burnt alive, as she resisted the rape.[62]

On 12th July, Council of Islamic Ideology of Pakistan dismissed DNA tests as evidence for rapes, and declared that without witnesses no rapes would be recognized.[63]

South Africa[edit source | edit]

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 is the relevant legislation in South Africa. Despite the fact that this act provides modern and progressive laws, that ban rape and other forms of sexual abuse, including sexual violence within marriage, South Africa remains a country where sexual attacks are common. The country has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world with more than 67,000 cases of rape and sexual assaults against children reported in 2000, with welfare groups believing that unreported incidents could be up to 10 times higher.[64] In 2001, a 9-month-old was raped and likely lost consciousness as the pain was too much to bear.[65] Another 9-month-old baby was raped by six men, aged between 24 and 66, after the infant had been left unattended by her teenage mother. A 4-year-old girl died after being raped by her father. A 14-month-old girl was raped by her two uncles. In February 2002, an 8-month-old infant was reportedly gang raped by four men. One has been charged. The infant has required extensive reconstructive surgery. The 8-month-old infant's injuries were so extensive, increased attention on prosecution has occurred.[66] A significant contributing factor for the escalation in child abuse is the widespread myth in HIV-ravaged South Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure a man of AIDS.[67][68] According to official figures, circa 11% of South Africans are infected with the virus.[69] Edith Kriel, a social worker who helps child victims in the Eastern Cape, said: "Child abusers are often relatives of their victims – even their fathers and providers."[67]

One in three of the 4,000 women questioned by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said they had been raped in the past year.[70] More than 25% of South African men questioned in a survey admitted to raping someone; of those, nearly half said they had raped more than one person, according to a new study conducted by the Medical Research Council (MRC).[71][72] A 2010 study led by the government-funded Medical Research Foundation says that in Gauteng province, more than 37 percent of men said they had raped a woman. Nearly 7 percent of the 487 men surveyed said they had participated in a gang rape.[73] Among children, a survey found 11% of boys and 4% of girls admitted to forcing someone else to have sex with them while in another survey among 1,500 schoolchildren in the Soweto township, a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that 'jackrolling', a term for gang rape, was fun.[64][70]

South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world.[64] More than 25% of a sample of 1,738 South African men from the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces admitted when anonymously questioned to raping someone; of those, nearly half said they had raped more than one person, according to a non-peer reviewed policy brief issued by the Medical Research Council (MRC).[74] Several news publications extrapolated these results to the rest of the South African population.[75][76][77] The humanitarian news organization IRIN claims that an estimated 500,000 rapes are committed annually in South Africa.[77]

According to University of Durban-Westville anthropology lecturer and researcher Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala, the myth that sex with a virgin is a cure for AIDS is not confined to South Africa. "Fellow AIDS researchers in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria have told me that the myth also exists in these countries and that it is being blamed for the high rate of sexual abuse against young children."[78]

"In South Africa, rape is so common it barely makes the news. The rapes of elderly women and babies are outlined in four-line stories on the inside pages of local newspapers, but most sexual assaults get no public attention."[79]

"The country has one of the highest rates of rape in the world, with some 65,000 rapes and other sexual assaults reported for the year ending in March 2012, or 127.6 per 100,000 people in the country."[79]

Sweden[edit source | edit]

Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe and one of the highest in the world. According to a 2009 study, there were 46 incidents of rape per 100,000 residents. This figure is twice that of the UK which reports 23 cases, and four times that of the other Nordic countries, Germany and France. The figure is up to 20 times the figure for certain countries in southern and eastern Europe.[80]

By 2010, The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences - about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants - of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world.[81]

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention claims that it is not "possible to evaluate and compare the actual levels of violent crimes... between countries", but that in any case the high numbers are explained by a broader legal definition of rape than in other countries, and an effort to register all suspected and repeated rapes. It asserts that comparisons based on victim surveys place Sweden at an average level among European nations.[82]

Turkey[edit source | edit]

In a study, some of the common conclusions were given to the participants, it recorded that 33% of the police officers suggested that "some women deserve rape", 66% of police officers, as well as nearly 50% of other professional groups except the psychologists about 18% and 27% of psychiatrists, suggested that "the physical appearance and behaviors of women tempt men to rape."[83]

In 2012, Turkish newspaper Dicle News noted the alleged sexual abuse and torture of Kurdish children in prison of southern Turkey, children, were between the ages of 13-17, they weren't only sexually abused by prison officers, guards, soldiers, but denied medical attention and hung from basketball hoops.[84]

United Kingdom[edit source | edit]

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (for England and Wales), the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 and the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 are relevant legislations in the United Kingdom.

According to a news report on BBC One presented in 12 November 2007, there were 85,000 women raped in the UK in the previous year, equating to about 230 cases every day. The 2006-07 British Crime Survey reports that 1 in every 200 women suffered from rape in that period. It also showed that only 800 people were convicted of rape crimes that same year, meaning that less than 1 in every 100 reports of rape led to a conviction.[85][86] According to a study in 2009 by the NSPCC on young people aged between 13-18, a third of girls and 16% of boys have experienced sexual violence and that as many as 250,000 teenage girls are suffering from abuse at any one time.[87][88] 12% of boys and 3% of girls reported committing sexual violence against their partners.[89]

A survey done by a third party research group on behalf of rape crisis centre The Havens found that almost half of UK men between the age of 18 and 25 do not consider it rape to force a woman who has changed her mind to continue sex. Almost 1 in 4 men claimed that it wasn't rape even if a woman had said "no" at the start. A further 1 in 4 would try to have sex with someone they knew was unwilling. 5% would attempt to have sex if the woman was asleep and 6% if she were drunk.[90][91]

United States[edit source | edit]

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which defines rape as penetration by the offender,[92] states that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, and 99% of rapists are male.[93] One of six U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape.[94] More than a quarter of college age women report having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14.[95] Some types of rape are excluded from official reports altogether (the FBI's definition, for example, used to exclude all rapes except forcible rapes of females), because a significant number of rapes go unreported even when they are included as reportable rapes, and also because a significant number of rapes reported to the police do not advance to prosecution.[96] As well as the large number of rapes that go unreported, only 25% of reported rapes result in arrest. Many rape kits are not tested.[97] Only 16% of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police (Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. 1992 and United Nations Populations Fund, 2000a).[98][99] Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.[100]

Contrary to widespread belief, rape outdoors is rare. Over two thirds of all rapes occur in someone's home. 31% occur in the perpetrators' homes, 27% in the victims' homes and 10% in homes shared by the victim and perpetrator. 7% occur at parties, 7% in vehicles, 4% outdoors and 2% in bars.[101] From 2000–2005, 59% of rapes were not reported to law enforcement.[102][103] One factor relating to this is the misconception that most rapes are committed by strangers.[102][104] In reality, studies indicate the following varying numbers:

Source:Current or Former Intimate PartnerAnother RelativeFriend or AcquaintanceStranger
US Bureau of Justice Statistics26%7%38%26%
Australian Government Statistics[105]56%10%27%8%
UK Home Office (for comparison)[106]45.4%13.9%29.6%11%

In a 2012 news story, The New York Times reported, " ... according a survey by the Alaska Federation of Natives, the rate of sexual violence in rural villages like Emmonak is as much as 12 times the national rate. And interviews with Native American women here and across the nation’s tribal reservations suggest an even grimmer reality: They say few, if any, female relatives or close friends have escaped sexual violence."[107]

The U.S. Department of Justice compiles statistics on crime by race, but only between and among people categorized as black or white. The Uniform Crime Reports classifies most Hispanics into the "white" category.[108] There were 194,270 white and 17,920 black victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2006. However, the report does give a note that for the percentages of white-on-black or black-on-white rape, and the estimate of total number of black victims, the statistic is based on 10 or fewer sample cases.[109] According to Anthony Walsh, "Gary LaFree's rape data for the 45-year period revealed that blacks were arrested for rape an average of 6.52 times more often than whites."[108]

The U.S. Department of Justice compiles statistics on crime by race, but only between and among people categorized as black or white. The statistics for whites include Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites combined. There were 194,270 white and 17,920 black victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2006.[110]

Drug use, especially alcohol, is frequently involved in rape. A study (only of rape victims that were female and reachable by phone) reported detailed findings related to tactics. In 47% of such rapes, both the victim and the perpetrator had been drinking. In 17%, only the perpetrator had been. 7% of the time, only the victim had been drinking. Rapes where neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been drinking were 29% of all rapes.[101]

Koss, Gidycz & Wi published a study in 1987 where they interviewed approximately 6,000 college students on 32 college campuses nationwide. They asked several questions covering a wide range of behaviors. From this study 15% of college women answered “yes” to questions about whether they experienced something that met the definition of rape. 12% of women answered “yes” to questions about whether they experienced something that met the definition of attempted rape[111]

In 1995 the CDC replicated part of this study. They examined rape only, and did not look at attempted rape. They found that 20% of approximately 5,000 women on 138 college campuses experienced rape during the course of their lifetime.[112][clarification needed lifetime or college time?]

In 2000, the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice statistics published a study called The Sexual Victimization of College Women based on a 1996–1997 survey. At page 11, it can be seen that 3.1% of undergraduate women reported experiencing rape or attempted rape during a 6-7 month academic year. Exhibit 7, page 18 of the report suggests that 10.1% of college women reported experiencing rape prior to entering college. 10.9% reported attempted rape prior to college.[113]

In a different section of the report, the authors speculate about whether statistics during an academic year generalize to an entire college experience. For a full discussion, read more on page 10 of the report, stating that "... the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions might climb to between one-fifth and one-quarter" and further acknowledging in the corresponding footnote, #18, that "These projections are suggestive. To assess accurately the victimization risk for women throughout a college career, longitudinal research following a cohort of female students across time is needed."

Other studies of the annual incidence of rape find it to be closer to 5% (compared to the 3% in the DOJ study). For example, Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss & Weschler (2004)[114] found in a study of approximately 25,000 college women nationwide that 4.7% experienced rape or attempted rape during a single academic year. This study did not measure lifetime incidence of rape or attempted rape. Similarly, Kilpatrick, Resnick, Ruggiero, Conoscenti, & McCauley (2007) found in a study of 2,000 college women nationwide that 5.2% experienced rape every year.[115]

Other research has found that about 80,000 American children are sexually abused each year. It has been estimated that one in six American women has been or will be sexually assaulted during her life. Largely because of child and prison rape, approximately ten percent of reported rape victims are male.[citation needed]

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.[116] 1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.(according to Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)[117]

Denov (2004) states that societal responses to the issue of female perpetrators of sexual assault "point to a widespread denial of women as potential sexual aggressors that could work to obscure the true dimensions of the problem."[118]

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the adjusted per-capita victimization rate of rape has declined from about 2.4 per 1000 people (age 12 and above) in 1980 to about 0.4 per 1000 people, a decline of about 85%.[119] But other government surveys, such as the Sexual Victimization of College Women study, critique the NCVS on the basis it includes only those acts perceived as crimes by the victim, and report a higher victimization rate.[120] Despite a decline of 60% since 1993, the US still has a relatively high rate of rape when compared to other developed countries.[121]

RAINN asserts that from 2000–2005, 59% of rapes were not reported to law enforcement.[102][122] For college students, the figure was 95% in 2000.[120] One factor relating to this is the misconception that most rapes are committed by strangers.[123] According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 38% of victims were raped by a friend or acquaintance, 28% by "an intimate" and 7% by another relative, and 26% were committed by a stranger to the victim. About four out of ten sexual assaults take place at the victim's own home.[124]

Contrary to widespread belief, rape outdoors is uncommon. Over two thirds of all rapes occur in someone's home. 30.9% occur in the perpetrators' homes, 26.6% in the victims' homes and 10.1% in homes shared by the victim and perpetrator. 7.2% occur at parties, 7.2% in vehicles, 3.6% outdoors and 2.2% in bars.[101]

Other[edit source | edit]

Most rape research and reporting to date has been limited to male-female forms of rape. Research on male-male and female-male is beginning to be done. However, almost no research has been done on female-female rape, though women can be charged with rape. A few books, such as Violent Betrayal: Partner Abuse in Lesbian Relationships by Dr. Claire M. Renzetti,[125] No More Secrets: Violence in Lesbian Relationships by Janice Ristock,[126] and Woman-to-Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Call It Rape? by Lori B. Girshick[127] also cover the topic of rape of women by other women.

Sexual violence against children and rape statistics[edit source | edit]

This list[128] indicates the number of, and per capita cases of recorded rape. It does not include cases of rape which go unreported, or which are not recorded.[129] Nor does it specify whether recorded means reported, brought to trial, or convicted. Nor does it take the different definition of rape around the world into account.

Rape at the national level, number of police-recorded offenses
Total countRate per 100,000 population
Sierra Leone135792.51.4
Saint Kitts and Nevis161530.928.6
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines6687506036542860.880.045.955.033.049.425.6
Trinidad and Tobago30533425931723624723.325.419.623.917.718.5
Costa Rica576600543485168513.814.212.611.136.7
El Salvador1185114075668119.618.812.311.0
Panama *62977179285571380999619.823.824.025.520.923.428.3
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)11371137143715961989258712.412.215.216.620.426.1
United States of America938839508994347944729261090750892418476732.232.331.831.530.629.829.027.3
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China709299961071051361121.
Republic of Korea5899632112.713.5
Brunei Darussalam242624286.
Sri Lanka137814327.17.3
Occupied Palestinian Territory85981052.52.83.0
Syrian Arab Republic131971351121251560.
United Arab Emirates445262721.
Czech Republic6466875965306375294806.
Republic of Moldova2722972802682813062643687.
Russian Federation818588489222887170386208539849075.
United Kingdom (England and Wales)132721401314443137741267313096150841593425.126.427.025.623.424.027.528.8
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)36436034544738936842249821.421.020.025.722.120.723.627.7
United Kingdom (Scotland)79490097592290882188415.717.719.118.017.715.917.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina3940443529461.
Malta *1113717101912112.
Republic of Macedonia931034.65.0
Switzerland *5475736466396486126665437.
New Zealand9941183114311301128112924.028.327.026.426.125.8
South Africa [3]69117680766520163818705146833266196148.4145.2137.6133.4144.8138.5


Solomon Islands1706579615637.213.816.412.311.00

References[edit source | edit]

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Further reading[edit source | edit]

External links[edit source | edit]