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Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Released the Study of "Sexual Violence in Utah"

News Release
April 11, 2005
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Salt Lake City, Utah - The Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice released the study "Sexual Violence in Utah" this week. The study takes an in-depth look at the characteristics of both victims of sexual violence and perpetrators of sexual violence in Utah. According to the results, nearly 60% of those reporting a sexual crime were victims of forcible fondling. About one-quarter of the respondents were victims of rape. The study showed that victims of sexual violence are most commonly females who know the perpetrator, and the offenses generally occur at a residence. "We are hoping this report will help eliminate many of the myths surrounding sexual violence. These crimes occur more frequently than a lot of people want to think, and they often have long-term physical and psychological impacts on the victims. Our study shows that victims are rarely attacked by a stranger. Most commonly victims are attacked by someone they know, sometimes even family members", said Mike Haddon, Director of Research with the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

For many people, rape and sexual assault are hidden crimes, rarely discussed in public. Many individuals do not recognize sexual violence as a critical public health problem, but sexual violence does devastate families and change lives forever. Rape impacts everyone- men, women, and children of all ages, races, religions, and socioeconomic status. "Sexual violence is one of the fastest growing and most serious violent crimes in Utah. Many individuals will not recognize it as a significant public health problem, one that affects communities, families and individuals. Our public should be outraged about this violence and demand that it be stopped," reports Ned Searle, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women and Families. The results of this study have been provided to the Utah Legislature, and the Utah Sexual Violence Council will use the findings to assist in improving our state's response to victims of sexual violence.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  • According to Crime in the United States, 2002, Utah's rape rate ranks 14th highest in the nation.
  • Looking at the 2002 Utah Crime Victimization Survey, 78.6% of rape victims did not report the offense to law enforcement. In 2003, 843 individuals did report being raped in Utah. Therefore, it could be estimated that nearly 4,000 rapes actually occurred in 2003.
For more information Contact: Mike Haddon 538-1047

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