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Tide Turns Against Rape-But Why?

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posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 12:08 PM
Almost every day there is a report in the media about someone being raped or molested. With reports of Internet predators, molesting priests and college fraternity antics plastered all over the headlines, most people would have trouble believing that the number of rapes in the US has dropped since the 1970's. The US department of Justice's annual crime victimization survey shows an 85% drop in the number of rapes. Even with better statistics being kept since 1993 the drop is still shown to be over 75%.
Predators on the Internet, priests molesting children, Duke lacrosse players accused of rape--judging from the news or TV crime dramas, sexual assault appears to be an endless national epidemic. So powerful is this impression that when evidence emerges to suggest otherwise, Americans may have trouble believing their eyes. But the truth about the incidence of rape and other sex crimes is no mirage: It has declined drastically and is still dropping.

The Washington Post recently reported that since the 1970s, rape has diminished in frequency by some 85 percent. If a major newspaper revealed that rape had increased by 85 percent in the past generation, commentators and politicians would be decrying the fact, pointing fingers and demanding remedies. But this phenomenal success story vanished without a trace--possibly it sounded too good to be true, and perhaps because some people see little to gain from acknowledging the truth.

There is no doubt, though, about the fundamental facts. We tend to discount statistics about rape because many victims don't go to the police. But the best evidence comes from the Justice Department's annual crime victimization survey--which compiles numbers based on interviews with some 75,000 Americans, rather than from police reports. The survey found that in 1979, the rate of rape was 2.8 per 1,000 people over age 11. In 2004, it was 0.4.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I can't turn on the television, radio or go on the Internet without hearing about a rape, molestation or Internet predator story. If the statistics in this article are even half right then are we being lied to? I can't verify the numbers given in this article, no one can, not even the people who compiled them. There are those who are going to claim that even one rape or molestation incident is one too much, and I agree with them.

We know that the media's object is to grasp our attention, so that we buy their newspaper, magazine or watch their broadcasts. The old adage "If it bleeds, it leads" has its basis in fact. With the instant communications that are available today the world is a much smaller place. With 24 hour news channels needing something to fill their broadcasts with things that would only be mentioned locally a few years ago are now national news. It is my opinion that this tends to skew the public's perception about how often things actually happen. Some things are happening fewer and fewer times, but are being covered by the media more and more. To me this gives the false perception that these things are more common than they actually are.

With in the last few weeks I have seen commercials telling me that a woman is raped or abused every 8 seconds in the US. I have had a flyer handed to me asking for a donation for an organization to help rape victims. I have seen the State and Federal Government debating increasing funding for the victims of rape and the law enforcement agencies who deal with rape. Now I see statistics that tell me that rape has declined by over 75%.
Who's right? If the Justice Department statistics are wrong then they are wasting my tax dollars in keeping them. If the statistics are right then why is Congress and my State Legislature wasting my tax dollars in increasing funding, shouldn't they be looking at maybe decreasing that funding?

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[edit on 10/7/2006 by Mirthful Me]

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