Sexual Assault Reporting

Acquaintance rape is rarely reported to the police, even though many individuals will acknowledge their victimization in anonymous surveys. For example, only 19.1% of women and 12.9% of men reported their rape victimization to the police.3 In fact, rape victims are statistically less likely to report rapes committed by acquaintances than rapes committed by strangers, perhaps due to concerns that they will not be believed by law enforcement officials or fears of being blamed for the incident. Indeed, fear of their rapist, shame and embarrassment, and not considering their rape a crime were the primary reasons survivors chose not to report their victimization to the police.3

"I never told anyone about what happened. He was my commanding officer. I thought that no one would believe me. I knew there was no way he would ever be punished for what he did to me."

—Sixty-five-year-old Caucasian woman

Even when reported to the police, only 37% of rapes resulted in criminal prosecution. When extrapolated to all women who reported being raped since the age of eighteen, only 7.8% of rapists were prosecuted, 3.3% were convicted of a crime, and 2.2% of rapists were ultimately incarcerated. In sum, the vast majority of sexual assaults and rape incidents in the United States each year go unreported, uninvestigated, unprosecuted, and unpunished.

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