Real College Rape Statistics Belie The "Rape Culture" Narrative ⋆ Dc Gazette

Real College Rape Statistics Belie The “Rape Culture” Narrative

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Photo from UK Telegraph

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.  In 2007, federal funds funded a study which is known as The Campus Assault Study.  It was prepared for the U.S. Department of Justice, but on the official disclaimer, the words, “This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. This report has not been published by the Department. Opinions or points of view expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.” appear.  Good thing.

The authors of that study concluded based on paid interviews that one in five women on college campuses from 2005 to 2007 were sexually assaulted and that college is a far more dangerous place for women to be than not because of it.  (Really, because of men, men’s sports and frat houses, of course.)  The problem with the data used to derive that conclusion is that it was based on the results of a survey done at two college campuses, depending on what one calls a college.  Two out of somewhere between four and seven thousand institutions.  With no FBI data as reported by local police precincts.

The other problem with that study is that the incredibly flawed conclusions have been used extensively to foment the narrative that rape is prevalent on American college campuses moreso than the mainstream.  Interesting considering it is not true.  The Department of Justice itself just put out harder numbers in a survey based on sexual assault from a crime perspective rather than public health with a far more broad base of survey subjects.  Quick facts from the latest report using data from 1997-2013 for sexual assault against women 18-24 years old:

  • „ 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).
  • „ 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.
  • „ About a quarter of student (26%) and nonstudent (23%) victims who did not report to police believed the incident was a personal matter, and 1 in 5 (20% each) stated a fear of reprisal.
  • „ Student victims (12%) were more likely than nonstudent victims (5%) to state that the incident was not important enough to report.
  • „ Fewer than 1 in 5 female student (16%) and nonstudent (18%) victims of rape and sexual assault received assistance from a victim services agency.

Overall, one chart in the report, demonstrates that the incidence of sexual assault itself has dropped significantly in the last two decades.

BJS-SA-Trends-1997

What is still bothersome, though, is that according to this report, 80% of student victims and 67% of nonstudent victims of sexual assault do not report the crime.  Obviously, each woman has her own reasons for keeping quiet, but without the police reports themselves and solid statistics, women will be told over and over that going to college is dangerous because of men.  The Campus Sexual Assault study meme is still used so often in feminist messaging that the 20% figure is accepted as fact.  An actual statistic would be far more more honest and only can be achieved if women report the crime.

That is where the feminists and others who are invested in the narrative that there is a “Rape Culture” fail women.  They do not encourage women to report their sexual attackers.  According to the new report there are more college age women who do not report the assaults than do.  Men who sexually assault women and get away with it will do it again.  Then other women will be victimized by the assault and innocent men by association.

There is no decent defense of rape.  There simply is not, no matter how it happens or whether or not the victim knows her attacker, or if a weapon was used or if a girl has been roofied.  But by stigmatizing the act, and making the victim be the shamed party, especially when she is not “asking for it” with actions, words or wardrobe, women as a whole are further objectified than our over-sexed culture has already made us.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests.In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board).In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.