Rape

BJS: Rate of Sexual Assault Shows Sharp Decline, Lower Among College-Age Women

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One of the reasons that Rolling Stone's discredited story about a vicious gang rape at the University of Virginia (UVA) was initially believable is that many of us take it for granted that colleges are a hotbed of sexual assault.

As Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York has said, "Women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus."

This is simply not true, according to the latest figures on sexual assaults released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Surveying women between the ages of 18 and 24, BJS found that "The rate of rape and sexual assault was 1.2 times higher for nonstudents (7.6 per 1,000) than for students (6.1 per 1,000)." Other findings form the report include:

  • For both college students and nonstudents, the offender was known to the victim in about 80% of rape and sexual assault victimizations.
  • Most (51%) student rape and sexual assault victimizations occurred while the victim was pursuing leisure activities away from home, compared to nonstudents who were engaged in other activities at home (50%) when the victimization occurred.
  • The offender had a weapon in about 1 in 10 rape and sexual assault victimizations against both students and nonstudents.
  • Rape and sexual assault victimizations of students (80%) were more likely than nonstudent victimizations (67%) to go unreported to police.

Until the numbers decline to zero, there is no such thing as "good news" in data about rape and sexual assault. However, the trends as measured by BJS are going in the right direction. Between 1997 and 2013, the rate of rape or sexual assault against women dropped by about 50 percent. Again, too high, but going in the right direction. The decline in the rate of sexual assault is part of a widely observed decline in violent crime more generally, which is down about 60 percent over the past 15 to 20 years.

There are many caveats in the data for all sorts of reasons (chief among them is that precisely because most assaults are committed by people known to the victims, the crimes are underreported). But this sort of information is essential to any and all discussions about law enforcement and campus policies related to sexual contact.

Much of the push for the erosion, if not total evisceration, of due process on college campuses comes from the false belief that campuses are uniquely dangerous for women. That not only does a disservice to (mostly male) suspects brought up on charges of abuse and worse, it also discourages women in their academic pursuits and poisons an environment that is already toxic to begin with.

One of the key findings of recent research on sexual offenders is that such acts are not widely dispersed among a general population but are mostly committed by a small number of serial predators. Recognizing that and building it into campus awareness programs aimed at both potential victims and potential witnesses is one way to build better, more equal relations among women and men on campus and off.

Reason on the UVA story and sexual assault.

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115 responses to “BJS: Rate of Sexual Assault Shows Sharp Decline, Lower Among College-Age Women

  1. This is simply not true, according to the latest figures on sexual assaults released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

    That’s nothing a few word definition changes won’t fix.

    1. Rape and sexual assault are defined by the NCVS to include completed and attempted rape, completed and attempted sexual assault, and threats of rape or sexual assault (see Methodology)

      1. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MICROAGGRESSIONS?

        For fuck’s sake, every time a frat boy looks at cleavage and drools, a budding SJW gets her wings.

        1. fucking eye-rapists.

            1. Your comment reminded me of some anime I saw when I was a kid where the tentacle raping devices had eyes on the tips.

                  1. Speaking of, when the hell is the next season starting? YouTube clips can only hold me over so long.

                    1. Seriously. I’ve been searching -daily- on Amazon Prime for when I can subscribe to the next season.

                    2. January 8th I believe.

        2. Luckily I was never in a frat, and I try not to be so obvious as to drool, so I’m not to blame for this.

          1. #NotAllEyes

  2. Until the numbers decline to zero, there is no such thing as “good news” in data about rape and sexual assault. However, the trends as measured by BJS are going in the right direction.

    So… is that good news or not?

    1. At the very least it is less bad.

      1. Nick must be a Platonist or something. The Good cannot admit anything of the Bad.

  3. The rate of rape and sexual assault was 1.2 times higher for nonstudents (7.6 per 1,000) than for students (6.1 per 1,000).

    Come on, that’s just a smidgen lower than 1 in 5. Basically the difference is a rounding error.

    1. Well, these numbers appear to be a per year rate, while the oft-quoted 1 in 5 number is an aggregate over a college career. If we assume the average career is 4 years, then the rate is 24.4 per 1000. That is a little closer to 200 per 1000…. I mean, it’s only off by an order of magnitude. Maybe they accidentally added a zero somewhere…

  4. Here is a question: How certain can we be about the numbers for unreported rapes? If they are not reported, how do we get those numbers in the first place?

      1. Please excuse the brevity of my previous reply; what I mean is that there are various methods to deduce a good approximation (“good” being anything within 5% of actual value) using statistics. Are they 100% accurate? No, but “good enough” is better than not admitting they exist, to me.

        1. I need to learn more statistics.

          1. You ask a bunch of women: 1) Were you raped? 2)Did you report it?

            You then hand the answers over to a group of professional liars also know as statisticians.

            1. Men too. I think I might be part of a rape statistic. I got a weird phone survey about sexual assault one time. IN response to one of their questions I recounted an incident from high school where a very intoxicated friend got his dick out and was trying to put it in my ear for some reason. I was actually laughing, but they kept being all serious about it.

              1. Uh, because you have some sexy damn ears? It’s not that hard to understand, bae.

    1. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is an
      annual data collection conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau
      for the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The NCVS is a
      self-report survey in which interviewed persons are asked
      about the number and characteristics of victimizations
      experienced during the prior 6 months. The NCVS collects
      information on nonfatal personal crimes (rape or sexual
      assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal
      larceny) and household property crimes (burglary, motor
      vehicle theft, and other theft) both reported and not
      reported to police.

      So caveats obviously apply, but that is where the numbers come from.

      1. Also worth pointing out, cases reported to the police still seem to come from the same survey as cases not reported. They are not getting the numbers for cases reported to the police from the police. In other words, the numbers seem to be drawn from the same sample pool.

        1. Seems like pretty weak data, then. I agree with anon, above, that it is probably good to try to get some idea of how many rapes go unreported. But it’s also important to share the sources of the numbers when presenting numbers like that. I’d think that the self reporting is almost certain to produce inflated numbers.

          1. I’m not really sure how you get better data. Rapes not reported to the police can only be found out through self-reporting, pretty much by definition.

            1. Regardless, you could change the numbers by a factor of 5 in either direction and you’d still have a max incidence rate of about 3% for college women. In my field a 20% uncertainty is usually pretty good, so if I can inflate things by a factor of 5 and still have the numbers be pretty small, then I’m comfortable with saying the numbers are pretty small, given any other caveats.

    2. Becuz feelins, n00b. Get the fuck on board.

    3. We can’t be utterly certain but the BJS stats are based on victim surveys where they contact a large representative sample and ask them “In the last year have you been raped” If the answer is yes they ask a few more questions including whether they ever reported it to the police.

      This is a perfectly statistically valid method except for one problem.

      If you’ve been robbed there really isn’t much question that you have been robbed, if you have been assaulted there isn’t much question about whether an assault took place, rape on the other hand is not so cut and dry.

      The overwhelming majority of false rape claims come from women who honestly believe they have been raped. Take the bad victims link someone posted earlier in AM Links. Several of the women said yes, they actively consented without being threatened by anything and yet still believe they were raped. These women are not lying and will show up in the BJS report as actual rapes but no rape has occurred.

      Among all of the crimes tracked by the BJS victimization surveys rape is unique in this way so while it may be true that there are a small number of women who cannot bring themselves to admit they were raped even on an anynomous survey it is likely that it measurably over estimates the actual incidence of rape

      1. If you’ve been robbed there really isn’t much question that you have been robbed

        Really? Because I have it on good authority that the government would surely never rob me, yet every year I do believe I’ve been robbed.

        1. Lol ok, from a legal standpoint at least.

          What the government does is by fiat legal and so wouldn’t count in crime stats.

          If it wasn’t for that we could all realistically claim it raped us too

          1. See? There’s a faulty premise. The entire concept of “law” goes away once you say “Because someone said so.”

            More of a macro problem than any comment on anything you’ve said.

  5. As Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York has said, “Women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus.”

    No surprise. Senator Sorority Girl is one of the dumbest in her class.

    Monsters. Under In my bed!

    1. She just remembers all those frat party gang bangs she participated in.

      1. Pullin’ that train
        High on cocaine

  6. Until the numbers decline to zero, there is no such thing as “good news” in data about rape and sexual assault. However, the trends as measured by BJS are going in the right direction.

    That’s bullshit. Fuck this line. Rape will NEVER equal zero, so what you’re saying is that there will never be good news. If there will never be a “good” result, then why even bother reporting the result?

    The good (and expected) news is that as a country continues to develop, violent crimes decline as even the poorest in society have too much to lose over bullshit like rape.

    1. In other bad news, murders are down and aliens from Alpha Centauri haven’t invaded yet.

      1. But alien abduction and anal probing are up! That’s bad news for everyone except Warty and STEVE SMITH. And your mom.

        1. I’d argue my mom finds this as good news as well.

          1. Well, that goes without saying.

  7. Wait, what? I thought the numbers were 200 per 1000?

    1. Yep – 1 in 5. We have to marvel at the bravery of modern women who are willing to run that risk for an education.

  8. Interestingly enough, the incidence rate among female students is lower than for female non-students, but higher for male students than for non-male students. Though the overall numbers are still higher for women than men in both groups. Raw numbers (per 1000 people aged 18-24):

    Female students: 6.1
    Female non-students: 7.6
    Make students: 1.4
    Male non-students: 0.3

    Page 5

    1. So the stories about Brad waking up the next morning with no memory, a sore ass, and Vaseline in his crack were true!

      1. ….why does it always have to be Brad? C’mon guys.

        1. Have you seen the way he dresses?

          1. ….true. I do dress a little slutty. My bad.

    2. Fraternity initiations are basically variations on gay rape. As are Rugby parties and football training camp.

      1. Eh? What kind of rugby club did you play for?! The Chicago Dragons?

      2. The women’s rugby team parties were epic at my school. They put the frats to shame. Sort of a combination of a lesbian orgy and a drunken brawl. Those young ladies could drink.

      3. I was always too tired to rape at training camp.

  9. “One of the key findings of recent research on sexual offenders is that such acts are not widely dispersed among a general population but are mostly committed by a small number of serial predators”

    Ok the study that produced this information is utterly unreliable but lets assume for a moment that it is true.

    Would that not make any woman who was raped and did not report it to authorities an accessory to any future rapes committed by that rapist?

    1. Would that not make any woman who was raped and did not report it to authorities an accessory to any future rapes committed by that rapist?

      The problem with relying on unreliable premises is they often lead to illogical results.

    2. Accessory, no. But if I actually wanted to lower the incidence of rape on campus, I would certainly spend a large part of my campus rape prevention and education budget on driving this point home. “If he raped you, he’s probably going to rape someone else. Save another young woman the pain and fear. All rapes are important enough for police to know about.”

      1. I would certainly spend a large part of my campus rape prevention and education budget on driving this point home.

        That will never happen. Instead there will be a groundswell of “teach men not to rape instead of blaming the victim”.

  10. completed and attempted sexual assault

    “Nice pants.”

    “Did you hear that? He just raped me!”

    1. Mac: You put your balls in my mouth while I was sleeping?

      Dennis: Yeah, man. Twice.

      Mac: That’s rape! That is borderline rape!

    2. HR: One of your coworkers filed a sexual harassment complaint against you.

      Guy: What?

      HR: She said you walked by her in the hall and said her hair smelled nice.

      Guy: How is that sexual harassment?

      HR: Well, you are a midget…

  11. “Until the numbers decline to zero, there is no such thing as “good news” in data about rape and sexual assault.”

    Well, since this will never happen, Nick apparently does not believe in good news.

    1. Way to steal my observation!

      1. It’s not theft, it’s appropriation.

  12. Repeat of comment in the ‘mockable’ thread:

    The funny thing is, they did it all to themselves.
    The whole ‘personal feelz’ emphasis.

    The “Rape Culture” schtick.
    If I wanted to poison the whole “College” experience brand – I’d come up with the rape culture thing. Make the safest places in the universe for young women seem like Nazi rape camps. And to address that, make policies that are explicitly hostile to young men.

    It’s like they all work for somekind of secret online colleges cartel.

  13. The fact that Nick has to say “this could obviously be better” every other sentence says a lot about the SJW harpies. Anyone with more than 3 brain cells can tell that the numbers going down is a good thing. And no matter how much lip service we pay to the fuckwads at Salon and Jezebel to try and prove we want to help, we’re still patriarchal rape apologists.

    All numbers are bad. Blindly believe all accusers. Remove all rational thought from the equation.

    1. It’s the SJW way. They’re not after any kind of justice, they’re just obnoxious, mob swarming bullies who combine their voices to give themselves their bullying power (because they sure don’t have shit as individuals).

      Every time someone like Nick or Robbie grovels every other sentence to make sure they don’t get mob swarmed, they’ve been successfully bullied. They’ve been cowed by a bunch of squealing, shrieking scum who have only one purpose: find anyone who has blundered into their zone of what you can’t say (as insanely arbitrary as that is, too) and have now been marked for destruction.

      1. The funny thing is that nothing bad happens to those who refuse to grovel. Look at George Will. He tells these people to go fuck themselves and all he has to deal with is some whiny blog posts and empty threats of meaningless protests. And yet Nick and Robby grovel, because…well, for some reason.

        1. Well, that’s true to a degree, but it fits the bully scenario perfectly. Bullies like to go after weak targets. So the SJWs who trolled Twitter looking for “racist” statements and then got the tweeter fired and shit? That’s perfect for them, because those people didn’t even see it coming and got fucked out of the blue. In other words, a weak target.

          George Will, or even Nick or Robbie, is not a weak target. So yeah, nothing bad will actually happen to them. But the whining and squealing of the SJWs is so fucking annoying that they (seemingly almost reflexively) try to avoid even that with lots of constant caveats and “clarifying” statements about what they mean so that the SJWs can’t purposefully misinterpret something and run with it (which they often do anyway; their capriciousness is part of their technique).

          Even when the bullies are pretty much toothless against you, they can still be insanely annoying. And they know that.

          1. Their power is entirely based on people choosing to give in to them rather than deal with their annoying harpy whining. If people would ignore them like they deserve, they’d have no power, but people don’t, so they do. “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?”

        2. This comment reminds me of Don Corelone slapping around Johnny Fontaine, telling him to be a man.

          Also, I should note that in Episiarch’s comment, I originally read “combine their voices” as “combine their vices.”

          1. Warty and Epi combining their vices? Now there’s a frightening thought.

            1. WONDER TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE! FORM OF: A DOOMCOCK! FORM OF: AN ICE VAGINA!

              1. I was thinking more Liberty Vice. The only question is who is Crockett and who is Tubbs?

                1. Well, all I know is that you’re Zito and JW is Switek. Now go get in your ant van and leave me alone.

                  But who is Nuggy?

                  1. Don’t be silly. I’m Lt. Castillo. I don’t want you on the case. I don’t want you on the streets; you’re too unpredictable.

                    1. You know what? I was wrong. You’re Trudy.

                    2. Thank you, thank you very much. TCB.

        3. Well, they want to appeal to young cool people. I don’t think George Will worries about that too much. I can’t really blame them.

          1. Cowardice appeals to you cool people?

            1. Well, I am pretty cool, but no.

              My point is that there are a lot of people out there who buy the “you’re blaming the victim/rape culture” bullshit. It is at least worth trying to get through to them by making it clear that you are not blaming the victim or denying that a problem exists.

              Maybe it’s pointless, but someone should try.

              1. Maybe it’s pointless, but someone should try.

                It’s not just pointless, it’s counter-productive. Kowtowing to them just validates their views.

        4. And yet Nick and Robby grovel, because…well, for some reason.

          Cocktail Partiez?

  14. One of the key findings of recent research on sexual offenders is that such acts are not widely dispersed among a general population but are mostly committed by a small number of serial predators.

    Call me crazy, but did any halfway sentient person ever believe otherwise?

    1. I can see how if I relied entirely on shit read at Jezebel how I might believe otherwise, but I’m pretty sure being a jezebel regular precludes any notions of sanity.

    2. It’s on us brooks, We have to teach them not to rape.

    3. Actually I sort of do.

      At least it would not be hard to convince me that the majority of rapes are the result of poor communication where the rapist thinks he has consent

  15. These are hate facts.

  16. BJS

    A BJ might well stave off a sexual attack.

    1. BJS can bring world peace!

    2. Absolutely not, blow jobs involve penises and all penises are instruments of mass rape. Therefore any stimulation of one for any reason by any person (even gay blow jobs) counts as an incidence of rape

      1. and all penises are instruments of mass rape.

        Holy shit, Warty has really affected these women.

    3. Ah, Shrike’s preferred method of rape. Too bad it can only be used once. That’s right, Shrike has no dick.

  17. Rape and sexual assault are defined by the NCVS to include completed and attempted rape, completed and attempted sexual assault, and threats of rape or sexual assault (see Methodology)

    So they create a category that includes everything from “rape rape” to the statement “You’re so cute I might kiss you” (a “threat of sexual assault”) and then they worry about how high the numbers are.

    Libertarians should do this. Create a measure called “government abuse” or something and count everything from people killed in wrong-house SWAT raids to the people whose time was wasted waiting in DMV lines. You can get some large numbers that way.

    1. Create a measure called “government abuse” or something and count everything from people killed in wrong-house SWAT raids to the people whose time was wasted waiting in DMV lines.

      But I do find both of those to be abuses.

      1. My problem is the wait at the DMV is never long enough to fill out the forms I need!

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      2. Lets see Average life expectancy is about 78 years, that works out to roughly 70,000 hours.

        Every year Americans collectively spend roughly 100 million hours at the DMV.

        ergo: The DMV consumes the lives of almost 1500 people annually

      3. Yes. they’re both “abuses” in the sense that rape and quip about a kiss are both “sexual violence.” But it biases and weakens the argument and muddies the waters to lump disparate things under one provocative label.

        If you talk about “government murder” by SWAT teams and include the lives “lost” in DMV lines, you may be technically correct, but it’s clear that in common sense terms, you are exaggerating.

  18. Speaking of George Will and the concern troll army

    But the rape business? Sure it’s sexist, condescending, and callously dismissive, as thousands of critics have already noted. But here’s what bothers me even more than that: it’s outrageously stupid, transparently absurd ? the kind of tossed-off, back-of-the-napkin theorizing one would expect of a guy who spends a little too much time in the make-up chair at Fox News.

    Can Will truly believe that female college students are behaving the way he claims they are ? faking sexual assaults because it confers benefits on them? If he does, what does that imply about his broader capacity to think, analyze, and opine? If he doesn’t, what does that imply about his willingness to prostitute his intellect for the sake of rallying the right-wing rabble in the bleachers?

    Get in step, George, or people will think you’re a senile old fool.

    1. Does this person really think women are so stupid that they are going to show up by the thousands in a place where every fifth one will be raped or sexually assaulted? 1 in 5 are the odds of rape and sexual assault at the hands of a pillaging army, not a college campus.

    2. Yeah I was thinking about this yesterday.

      Between Jackie and what’s her face from Girls rape allegations being blown up now would be the PERFECT for Will to revisit his article with an “I told you so” one

    3. Can Will truly believe that female college students are behaving the way he claims they are ? faking sexual assaults because it confers benefits on them?

      Nobody is saying anyone is “faking” sexual assaults. What is happening is lying about being sexually assaulted.

      And its trivially easy to prove that happens, and its not all that rare.

    4. One wonders what the author of that book would make of the George Will of today ? peddler of Tea-Party-approved libertarian bromides, promoter of know-nothing climate-change denialism, serial spewer of bile against the all-purpose bogeyman of “progressivism.” (Reading Will’s column these days, you get the feeling he thinks the Republican Party needs to position itself to the right of Theodore Roosevelt circa 1912.)

  19. many of us take it for granted that colleges are a hotbed of sexual assault.

    Yeah, don’t do that. Don’t take anyone’s premises uncritically, not matter the feelz.

  20. Rape is down? I blame STEVE SMITH

  21. Look, the SJWs are never going to make any real headway with this bullshit, because, fack check, the rate at which women experience sexual assault is not anywhere near what they are claiming.

    If women were getting raped as regularly on college campuses as they claim, there would not even be a fight about this. Every single female student would either know someone who had been raped or been raped herself. There would be massive upheaval.

    Reality Check: Most human beings tend to have concerns centered around things that *have actually happened to them* or someone they know.
    Just like whatever mouthings people make about helping the homeless, most people don’t really give a shit because *suprise* they have never been homeless, and would never put themselves in a position where they could be.

    Result: While many college women will agree that rape is bad (obviously), they aren’t going to get excited about something that they aren’t experiencing, have never experienced, and don’t see any significant threat of experiencing. No matter how shrilly people on TV tell them they should.

    Campus rape activists can jump up and down and scream rape culture all fucking day, but if a rape culture doesn’t actually exist, they aren’t going to get very much traction, because human beings that they are, women are going to think about problems they are actually experiencing a lot more than made up ones in other people’s heads.

    1. Salem got a lot of traction about witchcraft. Prosecutors and writers got a lot of traction out of Satanic child abuse. Non-existence is not a barrier to moral panics.

      Plus, if SJWs can define “rape culture” to mean “a guy whistled at me,” then many people will say “Gee, I guess we do live in a rape culture!” After all, “racism” has been redefined to mean “anything any black person doesn’t like, including any criticism of any black person.” What’s to stop the feminists?

      1. But if the majority of women don’t actually see any actual raping happening around them, they aren’t going to stay very interested. The salem witch trials actually marked the end of witch persecution in America. Because after it happened everyone was like “what the fuck? Are we crazy?” Same thing with the Satanic sex abuse panic.
        People realize this shit is crazy. And it’s really, really, hard to make people stay scared about something that they aren’t experiencing or seeing in their daily lives. People’s attention tends to return to things that are actually happening to them.

    2. The problem is that men are being punished for things that aren’t happening. What SJWs is having an effect in the real world.

      It’s a moral panic all over again. Anyone wondering how that Day Care clinic – Satanic Ritual Abuse thing happened in the ’80s

      True, no one is going to jail (or hanged or burned at the stake), but at the same time, they are getting kicked out of college and being defamed, labeled as rapist which really is something that doesn’t exactly help you in life, except maybe if you are a boxer or film director.

      1. And laws are being passed that assume the panic is real

        1. Honestly, I think this UVA rape case will be the end of that. The whole “rape culture” meme just suffered a massive, possibly fatal, blow. I wouldn’t expect the affirmative consent laws to be repealed tomorrow, but I would expect that when the inevitable court cases come around that the governors of those states don’t fight very hard to defend them. I don’t even think they will make it to SCOTUS. They will get struck down at the appellate level and SCOTUS will decline to take it.

  22. Rape also declined before the 1990s, according to BSJ, which reported a decline of about 50% between 1973 and 1994. The decline accelerated after 1994.

    1. BJS, that is.

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