In 2012, the FBI changed their definition of rape from “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” to “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The definition, which had remained unchanged since 1927, was considered outdated and narrow. The updated definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator. I say this to understand how much the problem of rape has metastasized over the years.
It is disparaging that the reported cases of rape are more now than even during the war torn periods of this century. If that were all there would still be some form or degree of amelioration but unfortunately that is not all. Statistics show that the reported cases of rape have declining rates of conviction despite advances in technology. The problem appears to be a juggernaut.
Unfortunately it gets worse.
According to Patricia Weaver Franscisco
“If the occurrence of rape were audible, its decibel level equal to its frequency, it would overpower our days and nights, interrupt our meals, our bedtime stories, howl behind our love-making, an insistent jackhammer of distress. We would demand an end to it. And if we failed to locate its source, we would condemn the whole structure. We would refuse to live under such conditions.”
Sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime that is according to the American Medical Association, 1995. Consequently, the number of reported rapes is lower than both incidence and prevalence rates. In Italy, a 2006 National Statistic Institute survey on violence against women found that 91,6% of women who experienced rape did not report it to the police.
In the United Kingdom, figures on reported rape cases show an ongoing decline in the conviction rate, putting it at an all time low of 5.6% in 2002. The government has expressed its concern at the year-on-year increase in attrition of reported rape cases, and pledged to address this “justice gap” yet nothing seems to be working.
Statistics provided by RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) shows that
72% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police
If the rape is reported to police, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.
If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.
If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.
So, even in those 28% of rapes that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.
Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5%—one out of twenty— of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 will walk free.