The federal government tracks and reports numerous statistics related to sex offenses and molestation. However, underreporting significantly affects these figures. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, victims only report about 30 percent of all sexual assaults to law enforcement officials.
Children and Federal Sex Crimes
The following data relates to sexual crimes against children and teens:
- Sexual abuse of children as a subcategory of maltreatment against juveniles stood at 9.3 percent of all cases in 2012 for a total of 62,939 sexual abuse cases.
- For 28 percent of male rape victims, the first abuse incident occurred at 10 years of age or younger.
- An estimated 1.8 million teens across the nation have been victimized sexually.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25 percent of girls and about 17 percent of boys suffer sexual abuse prior to age 18. Of those abuse incidents, just over one-third happen to victims between the ages of 12 and 17.
- In 2012, the federal government received reports of 346,830 rapes or sexual assaults against individuals over the age of 12.
- However, fortunately, we seem to be moving (albeit too slowly) in a positive direction. Between 1992 and 2010, the data show an overall decline of these events – a 56 percent drop in physical abuse complaints and a 62 percent decline in sexual abuse complaints. These figures have been corroborated by data from a variety of sources.
Women and Federal Crime Statistics, Including Rape
An estimated 18 percent of U.S women – or nearly one in five women in the nation – has been or will be a victim of rape. Crunching the numbers, that suggests that an astonishing 20 million women will be raped in our country.
About 16 percent (approximately 3.2 million) of these female rape victims will report the crime to police, according to past trends as measured by various surveys.
Along those lines, about 300,000 college women were rape victims in 2006, and only 12 percent, or about 36,000, reported the crime to police.
Putting These Numbers into Context and Understanding Their Implications for Your Federal Sex Crimes Defense Strategy
The sheer magnitude of these crimes – and their scary ubiquity – creates several challenges for those who stand falsely accused. First of all, since molestation and abuse are so rampant, the prosecution may find it relatively easy to convince a jury that a crime of some sort was committed. Second, these numbers obscure the diversity of sex and molestation crimes. Not all cases involve the same degree of wrongdoing. Finally, the secrecy involved – for instance, the fact that nearly nine out of ten rape victims fails to report to police – can make getting at the truth in these situations quite challenging.
If you stand accused of a sex crime, you need empathetic, strategic legal representation to protect your rights and ensure fairness. Please contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a case consultation now.