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According to Merriam-Webster (their website) a Pandemic, is defined in part as:

..an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population…

According to Roger Williams University:

  • One out of four women have been sexually assaulted at some point in her life.
  • 82% of these sexual assaults occurs before the victim reaches the age of 25,
  • only 2% of rapes occurring where the rapist was the assailant was an acquaintance of the victim were reported to law enforcement.
  • 95% of Rapes don’t get reported at all to law enforcement

According to RAINN.org, citing a Survey conducted by the US Department of Justice.

  • In 2003 one in every ten rape victims were male
  • Over 2.78 million men, in the United States alone, have been the victims of rape.

The 2010 Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics Report: Felony Sentences in State Courts states:

  • 84% of rapists plea guilty if the prosecutor chooses to prosecute the case in court.
  • Of those rapists who get convicted 14% get no jail time at all.
  • 70% of all rapists are Caucasian males.
  • Of the felonies that get prosecuted in the United States, only 1.9% are rape prosecutions

To me, these statistics are Amazing!  We have a crime spree of pandemic proportions in the United States, and it is allowed to continue by both victims and government.  One in four, and by some measurements one in five, citizens in the United States are victims of rape. Yet the majority of victims don’t report it and regarding those that do, less than 2% of felonies prosecuted are rape prosecutions.  Further, even when the rapists are found guilty, 14% never get jail time.

These statistics empower rapists.

However, as citizens, we can and should encourage those around us to report rape, as soon as possible after it happens.  Teach these victims to preserve the evidence, so an accurate effective rape kit can be utilized by medical professionals.

Once the police have been contacted, ensure a police report with a case number is assigned.

Finally, interact and work with the Prosecutor’s office victim’s advocate to ensure the rape is prosecuted in court. If the prosecutor’s office doesn’t employ a victim advocate, then contact your local church or domestic violence advocacy group to get them to speak on your behalf.  Once the case gets to court, 84% will plead guilty and will be required to register as sex offenders.

To me, this is the only way we as citizens can start to address this rape pandemic in any meaningful way… one victim at a time.  While I appreciate each one of us can only make a small contribution, the synergy effect of many doing this together can really make a difference.  It will definitely impact those rapists’ ability to re-offend without consequence.

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