Fact Checking & Commonly Asked Questions

Fact Check:

Most sexual assaults are committed by strangers

Most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim or the victim’s family, regardless of whether the victim is a child or an adult.

Click here for more information

  • The majority (93%) of molestations of children are not committed by strangers but by people who are known and trusted within or about the family, leaving 7% of crimes against children committed by strangers. 1998 National Violence Against Women Survey revealed that among those women who reported being raped, 76% were victimized by a current or former husband, live-in partner or date.
  • A Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that nearly 9 out of 10 rape or sexual assault victimization’s involved a single offender with whom the victim had a prior relationship
  • Approximately 60% of boys and 80% of girls who are sexually victimized are abused by someone known to the child or the child’s family.
  • Almost 50% of the offenders are household members
  • 38% are already acquaintances of the victims. US Department of Justice. (1997) and Finkelhor and Ormond. (2001).
  • Based on police-recorded incident data, in 90% of the rapes of children younger than 12, the child knew the offender.
  • A large portion (60%) of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child, but are not family (e.g., family friends, babysitters, child care providers).
  • 30% of perpetrators are within the family
  • 10% are strangers

Sources:

    • NSOPW, 2016
    • Greenfield, et al, 1997. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data Rape and Sexual Assault. United States Department of Justice.

Fact Check:

Sex Offender Registration keeps communities safer

If we keep in mind that 93% of the culprits are family or known to the family and that 87% of sex offenders who are caught do not re-offend, then it would seem that most registries or residency restrictions or tracking of individuals will be very close to a waste of time.

Fact Check:

Most sex offenders reoffend

Re-conviction data suggests this is not the case.  In fact re-conviction rates for sexual offenders is lower than all other person on person crimes except for murder.

Click here for more information

  • Further, reoffense rates vary among different types of sexual offenders and are related to specific characteristics of the offender and the offense.
  • Recently the Bureau of Justice Statistics published a study which tracked 9,700 sex offenders for three years, their findings concluded:
  • Only 5.3% of these people imprisoned for sex crimes were re-arrested for a subsequent sex offense.
  • Where a child was involved, the re-arrest rate dropped to 3.3%.
  • Between two adults, the sexual re-offense rate was 2.2%.

Fact Check:

Sexual offense rates are higher than ever and continue to climb

Despite the increase in publicity about sexual crimes, the actual rates of reported sexual assaults have decreased slightly in recent years.

Fact Check:

Housing has nothing to do with whether or not a sex offender will reoffend

Stable housing is a big factor in sex offender reoffense.

Click here for more information

  • Offenders who have stable housing reoffend less often, than offenders who are homeless, or bounce from place to place.
  • “Homelessness increases the risk for recidivism for all criminal offenders, not merely sex offenders. When you put people in a position where they have nothing to lose, they don’t really have a stake in conforming.” – Dr. Jill Levenson

Fact Check:

Members of LBGT community are at a higher risk for victimization

1 out of 5 TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.

Click here for more information

Source: David Cantor, Bonnie Fisher, Susan Chibnall, Reanna Townsend, et. al. Association of American Universities (AAU), Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct (September 21, 2015). 

Fact Check:

Only women and children are sexually assaulted

1 out of every 10 rape victims are male adults.

Click here for more information

  • As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.

Sources:

  • National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998)
  • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010  (2013).

Fact Check:

Minorities perpetrate most sex crimes

57% of those who commit sexual crimes are white

 

Click here for more information

  • 27% are Black
  • 8% are unknown ethnicity
  • 6% other
  • 1% mixed race

Fact Check:

After midnight, until around 4am is the most frequent time for a rape to occur:

43% of all rapes/sexual assaults occur between 6pm and midnight

Fact Check:

Sexual Assaults are most likely to occur when you are traveling

55% of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home

Click here for more information

  • 15% in an open or public place
  • 12% at or near a relatives home
  • 10% in an enclosed, but public place
  • 8% on school property

Fact Check:

Most victims of sexual assault were assaulted because they were intoxicated, or hanging out in risky places

48% were sleeping, or performing another activity at home

Click here for more information

  • 29% were traveling to and from work or school, or traveling to shop or run errands
  • 12% were working
  • 7% were attending school
  • 5% were doing an unknown or other activity

Source: Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013).

Fact Check:

You can’t rape your spouse

In a study on marital rape, 14% of the women stated that they were raped by their husbands

Click here for more information

  • 12% of gay men reported having been victims of forced sex by a partner
  • 31% of lesbian women reported having been victims of forced sex by a partner

Source: Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013).

Fact Check:

College students have a higher likelihood of being sexually assaulted

  • Male college students are 5X more likely to be sexually assaulted than males of the same age (18-24) who are not in college

Click here for more information

  • One in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college
    Krebs, C. P., Lindquist, C., Warner, T., Fisher, B., & Martin, S. (2007). The campus sexual assault (CSA) study: Final report.
  • 4% of college males reported being sexually assaulted
  • 18% of college females reported being sexually assaulted
  • 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students reported being sexually assaulted
  • 4% of college males in the study admitted having committed a sexual assault.
    • 26% admitted having made a forceful attempt at sexual intercourse that caused observable distress in the woman.
    • 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes
  • Women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women, and those who live in the sorority house are over three times as likely to experience rape
  • Two different longitudinal studies have found that fraternity men are three times more likely to commit sexual assault than other college men

Fact Check:

Most rapes are report

A 1992 study estimated that only 12% of rapes were reported.

Click here for more information

  • And another indicated that only 32% of sexual assaults against persons 12 or older were reported to law enforcement.
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault
  • 81% of victims in the Military did not report the crime in 2016.
  • 28% will report to protect the household or victim from further crimes by the offender
  • 25% will report to stop the incident or prevent recurrence or escalation
  • 21% will report to improve police surveillance or they believed they had a duty to do so
  • 17% will report to catch/punish/prevent offender from reoffending
  • 6% gave a different answer, or declined to cite one reason
  • 3% did so to get help or recover loss
  • 20% feared retaliation
  • 13% believed the police would not do anything to help
  • 13% believed it was a personal matter
  • 8% reported to a different official
  • 8% believed it was not important enough to report
  • 7% did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
  • 2% believed the police could not do anything to help
  • 30% gave another reason, or did not cite one reason

Victims are most likely to report being sexually assaulted when:

  • The assailant is a stranger
  • The victim is physically injured during the attack
  • A weapon was used

Sources

    • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013).
    • Kilpatrick, D., Edmunds, C., & Seymour, A. K. (1992). The national women’s study. Arlington, Va: National Victim Center.
    • The National Crime Victimization Surveys conducted in 1994, 1995, and 1998
    • 2016 DoD SAPR Annual Report
    • Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women (NCJ 182369).
    • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013).