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Reported Rapes Increasing

May 23rd, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

Every major crime index fell in Florida last year, with the exception of one: forcible rape. As Mike Vasilinda tells us victims advocates are applauding the increasing number of reports.

Victims advocate Meg Baldwin says rape is the most underreported crime in Florida and the nation.

 

“If you take the reported number and multiply it by five, with the understanding that there is a twenty percent reporting rate, then you are probably reaching the right number for what the real incidence of sexual assault is.”

The most pressing reason victims don’t report is the fear of not being believed.

“And you said she was raped? Yeah.”

This interview was recorded during a rape investigation conducted by FSU Police.

 

“She was afraid to like call the police because she didn’t want anyone to be mad at her” said a friend of the victim.

Because rape is so under reported, when reports go up, as they have the last five years in a row in Florida, advocates know they are doing their job.

“When we see it go down, we’re concerned whether we are doing the right kind of outreach to encourage victims to come forward for help. When we see it go up, that can be an indication that the community is doing a good job” says Baldwin.

 

Adding confidence for victims is that FDLE is caught up on a backlog of eight-six hundred rape kits, and is now testing rape kits as they come in.

Fewer than 2 thousand old rape  kits remain to be tested. FDLE reports it is testing 99.9 percent of new kits within the 4 months allowed by law and many much quicker. 

9-1-1 operators are also receiving better training and police are being taught to be more sensitive.

Seven thousand, nine hundred and thirty four (7934) rapes were reported in Florida in 2017. Using the guideline that only one in five was reported, just under forty thousand people were raped last year.

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