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The Crime of Rape

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1985
Publication Series
This bulletin profiles rape on the basis of an examination of all the cases of female rape and attempted rape reported in the National Crime Survey (NCS) from 1973 to 1982.

Rape cases during this 10-year-period were aggregated into a single data set consisting of 1,082 cases which represent a national total of 1.5 million instances of rape or attempted rape. Only about half the victims of rape or attempted rape surveyed stated that the crime had been reported to the police. Two-thirds of all rapes and rape attempts occurred at night, with the largest proportion occurring between 6 p.m. and midnight. Most victims of rape or attempted rape were white and young; the ages with the highest victimization rates for rape and attempted rape were 16 to 24. More than half of all victims had never been married and most were members of low-income families. The most frightening form of rape, an assault by a total stranger, was the most common. More than 75 percent of all rapes involved one victim and one offender, and most offenders were unarmed. Most victims offered some form of resistance. The most common responses to the situation were trying to get help; resisting physically; to threatening, arguing, or reasoning with the offender; or resisting without force. The total cost of medical expenses reported was almost $72 million. Sixteen tables showing study data are included.

Date Published: March 1, 1985