Complete Indicator Profile of Forcible Rape (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 12)
DefinitionForcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used-victim under age of consent) are excluded.
In December 2011, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program changed its Summary Reporting System (SRS) definition of rape: "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 effect of this definition change will not be seen in reported crime data until after January 2013. Data reported from prior years will not be revised.
The rape rate is reported as the number of rapes among females per 100,000 population.
NumeratorNumber of reported rapes among females.
DenominatorMid-year resident female population for the calendar year, then converted to a rate per 100,000.
Data Interpretation IssuesStatistics vary because of differences in how rape is defined and how data are collected. A limitation to Uniform Crime Reporting data is that the definition used for rape is very narrow. Cases are defined as penile-vaginal penetration of a female forcibly and against her will, therefore other types of rapes as defined by federal law are not reported. The numerator of the rate is by place of occurrence, not place of residence.
Why Is This Important?The prevalence of sexual violence and intimate partner violence is a major public health concern in Alaska. Witnessing or being a victim of domestic violence is associated with high rates of fair-to-poor assessments of general health, asthma diagnoses, current smoking, and lack of emotional support. Individuals diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression have some of the highest prevalence of sexual and intimate partner violence.
Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men. Furthermore, sexual violence has been called a tragedy of youth. Sexual violence starts very early in life and more than half of all rapes of women (60.4%) and men (69.2%) occur before age 18. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, American Indian and Alaskan Native women were significantly more likely (34.1%) to report that they were raped than African American women (18.8%) or White women (17.9%).
Few sexual assaults result in a visit to a doctor or medical center for an examination after the incident. Victims say they do not seek medical attention because they were not injured, they were too young to ask for help, they were afraid someone would find out what happened, and they were not thinking clearly. The main reasons for seeking medical care after a sexual assault were to be checked for a sexually transmitted infection, pregnancy, or to receive emergency contraception.
Research has identified the following risk factors for sexual violence perpetration: alcohol and drug use, impulsive and antisocial tendencies, hostility towards women, history of sexual abuse as a child, witnessing family violence as a child, associating with sexually aggressive and delinquent peers, strongly patriarchal relationship or family environment, lack of employment opportunities, general tolerance of sexual assault within the community, weak community sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence, societal norms that support sexual violence, male superiority and sexual entitlement, and weak laws and policies related to gender equity.
Many long-lasting physical symptoms and illnesses have been associated with sexual victimization including chronic pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders, and a variety of chronic pain disorders, including headache, back pain, and facial pain. Immediate reactions to rape include shock, disbelief, denial, fear, confusion, anxiety, withdrawal, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, victims often experience anxiety, guilt, nervousness, phobias, substance abuse, sleep disturbances, depression, alienation, and sexual dysfunction. Women with a history of sexual assault are more likely to attempt or commit suicide than other women.
1. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Sexual Violence Fact Sheet (accessed 11/28/2009) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/SV/SVDataSheet.pdf
2. Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Sexual Violence Fact Sheet (accessed 10/28/2009) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/SV/svp-risk_protective.htm
3. Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Sexual Violence Fact Sheet (accessed 10/28/2009) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/SV/svp-consequences.htm
Healthy People Objective IVP-40.1:(Developmental) Reduce rape or attempted rape
U.S. Target: Developmental
State Target: Healthy Alaskans 2020 Target: 67.5 per 100,000 females
Available ServicesStatewide 24-hour Standing Together Against Rape: Anchorage Crisis Line 907-276-7273; Statewide Crisis Line 1-800-478-8999
Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicator Profiles:
Related Risk Factors Indicator Profiles:
Related Health Status Outcomes Indicator Profiles:
Graphical Data Views
Rate of forcible rape per 100,000 female population, all Alaskans and U.S., 2000-2020
Data NotesHealthy Alaskans 2020 Target: 67.5 per 100,000 females
The UCR Program provides statistics based on data contributed by local, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Caution should be used when comparing statistics from different jurisdictions, and consideration should be given to the various variables that affect crime and law enforcement's response in a given jurisdiction. In December 2011, the UCR Program changed its definition of rape; however, forcible rape statistics have been reported according to the historical definition (UCR Handbook 2004, Forcible Rape Definition: "The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will"). By definition, sexual attacks on males are excluded from the rape category and must be classified as assaults or other sex offenses depending on the nature of the crime and the extent of injury.
Data SourcesUCR Uniform Crime Reporting Online Data Tool, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice (www.ucrdatatool.gov) 1
References and Community ResourcesSexual violence resources and information can be found on the following websites:
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
More Resources and LinksAlaska and national goals may be found at the following sites:
Maps of health indicators for various subdivisions of Alaska may be found at the following site:
Evidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:
Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:
Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.
For an on-line medical dictionary, click on this Dictionary link.
Page Content Updated On 11/28/2013, Published on 11/29/2013