Sexual violence against women on the rise in EU, US, data say

Published 25.02.2019 01:16

Data and statistics from various organizations suggest that sexual violence against women in the EU and U.S. have reached worrisome levels.

Since 1993, the U.N. has defined violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women."

Measuring sexual violence is difficult, and there is no single source of data that gives a reliable picture of the crime.

Statistics usually show the extent to which such crimes are reported to the police, rather than the actual number.

Having said this, all standards indicate that sexual violence against women -- especially rape -- is a rising phenomenon in the U.S. and EU.

The total number of rape cases in the U.S. stood at 99,856 in 2017, amounting to a nationwide rate of 30.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to New York-based statistics portal Statista.

Statista's 2017 forcible rape rate research shows the state of Alaska topped the list with 116.7 reported cases per every 100,000 residents, followed by 70.6 in Michigan, 68.8 in Colorado and 68.4 in South Dakota.

Statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an anti-sexual violence organization based in Washington D.C., paints an even gloomier picture with one case of sexual assault in the U.S. occurring every 98 seconds.

Some 80,600 inmates, 18,900 military personnel, 60,000 children and 321,500 members of the general public suffer sexual violence or rape in the U.S. each year, with 90 percent of victims being female, according to RAINN.

RAINN reports also reveal that one out of every six American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

Of the total amount of cases reported to police, the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence found that only about 2 percent turned out to be false.

According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, 215,000 violent sexual crimes were recorded by police in 2015, with nearly 80,000 being rape.

Sweden comes first in the number of sexual violence offenses relative to population, with 178 recorded violent sexual crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

Sweden is followed by Scotland with 163 cases per 100,000, Northern Ireland with 156, England and Wales with 113 and Belgium with 91.

The most rape cases were committed in England and Wales with 62 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and Sweden with 57.

France also stands out in the list with 35,765 sexual violence cases with 14,105 being rape.

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