Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reported rapes hit 20-year low

Thought this was relevant to the course and saw it on

The FBI estimates 89,000 women reported being raped in 2008 -- 29 women for
every 100,000 people. That's down from a high of 109,062 reported rapes in 1992
-- 43 women for every 100,000 people. Data for 2009 are not yet available.
"We have seen reform in how police work with victims, gather evidence and
investigate rape; we've seen increased awareness of the crime, and we've seen
better prosecution," says Michael Males, senior researcher for the Center on
Juvenile & Criminal Justice in San Francisco. "Hospitals now have rape kits
that they didn't have 40 years ago" which make it easier to collect an
attacker's DNA and other evidence of a crime.

While it's fantastic that the numbers are down, they're still higher than they should be in a developed nation or, idealistically, anywhere. Additionally, the culture that condones and excuses rape is still in need of an overhaul (just Tuesday in another class of mine, a girl tried to discuss Roman Polanski [in an environmental politics class, of all places] "He had a rough life, he survived the Holocaust, " she explained. "And after knowing such pain, was callous enough to rape and sodomize a 13-year-old girl." I interjected.) and victim-blaming, while perhaps less of an issue than it once was, is still occurring far too often.

This was a comforting piece to read after hearing about the horrors in Guinea. (

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