National Incident-Based Reporting System
This report presents statistics on sexual assault victimizations that were reported to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2019 by law enforcement agencies in 17 states. NIBRS captures detailed information on four types of violent sexual assault recorded by law enforcement: rape , sodomy , sexual assault with an object , and fondling . This report contains interactive charts that compare the demographic characteristics of sexual assault victims to those of other serious violent crimes, present estimates of sexual victimization rates by victim demographic characteristics, and provide statistics on police clearance and arrest outcomes for sexual assaults. Data for this report were submitted by state and local law enforcement agencies from 17 states certified by the FBI to report all of their 2019 crime data to NIBRS. Those 17 NIBRS-certified states are highlighted in the map below.
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Violent Victimizations That Involved a Sexual Assault
Violent victimizations that involved a sexual assault,
Most sexual assaults () were against a female victim, while males were the majority () of victims of non-sexual violent crimes, such as a robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, or homicide.
In 2019, sexual assaults against females made up a sizeable portion
(about ) of all violent victimizations recorded by law enforcement agencies.
Violent victimizations that involved a sexual assault, by victim sex,
On average, sexual assault victims were younger than victims of non-sexual violence. The majority (_) of sexual assaults in were against juvenile victims age 17 or younger, while juveniles accounted for a considerably smaller portion
(_) of non-sexual violent victimizations. Sexual assaults against juveniles made up _ of all violent crimes handled by law enforcement in 2019.
Violent victimizations that involved a sexual assault, by victim age,
_ of the violent crimes experienced by victims ages _ involved a sexual assault, making the victims in this age group the most likely to experience violence of a sexual nature. Violent victimizations against youth age 17 or younger were more likely to involve a sexual assault than violent victimizations against victims age 18 or older. About _ of violent crime victims ages 14 to 17 experienced a sexual assault, compared to _ of victims ages 18 to 24.
Violent victimizations that involved a sexual assault, by victim age,
Violent crimes against young females were more likely to involve a sexual assault than those committed against young males. About _ of violent crimes against females ages 5 to 13 involved a sexual assault, compared to _ for males in the same age group.
Violent victimizations of females that involved a sexual assault, by victim age,
Violent victimizations of males that involved a sexual assault, by victim age,
Characteristics of Sexual Assault Victims and Incidents
Sexual victimization and abuse can take on various forms. NIBRS captures information on four unique sexual assault offense types: rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and fondling. The offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object form the basis of the UCR definition of rape. NIBRS provides detailed information about the context of sexual assault victimizations, such as the demographic characteristics of victims and offenders, the type of location and time of day during which these victimizations occur, the relationship of the victim to the offender, and the type of weapon or force used by the offender.
Sexual Assault Offense Types
The majority of sexual assault victimizations recorded by law enforcement in consisted of _ (_) and _ (_).
Sexual assault victimizations, by offense type,
The age groups with the highest proportion of rapes recorded by law enforcement were victims ages _ () and ages _ (). Approximately of sodomy and of fondling victimizations were committed against victims in one age group—children ages 5 to 13. Cases of fondling against children in this age group accounted for _ (_) of all sexual assaults recorded in 2019.
Sexual assault victimizations, by offense type and victim age,
Sexual Assault Victims and Offenders
Most sexual assaults recorded by law enforcement were committed by someone the victim knew, typically a friend or acquaintance () or a non-intimate family member (). A small fraction () of sexual assaults were committed by a stranger.
Sexual assault victimizations, by victim-offender relationship,
The majority of sexual assaults were committed against victims ages 5 to 17. Victimizations against children ages 5 to 13 accounted for of all sexual assaults recorded by law enforcement, and those against children ages 14 to 17 accounted for . Sexual assaults against children were far less likely to be committed by a stranger than those against victims age 18 or older. Family members committed _ (x%) of all sexual assaults against young children under age 5 and text fraction () of those against children ages 5 to 13. Most sexual assaults against victims age 14 or older were committed by friends and acquaintances.
Sexual assault victimizations, by victim age,
The overwhelming majority of sexual assaults (_) were committed by a male offender.
Sexual assault victimizations, by offender sex,
The portion of sexual assaults committed by a male offender was highest among those against victims ages _ .
Sexual assault victimizations, by victim age and offender sex,
Sexual assault victimizations of females, by victim age and offender sex,
Sexual assault victimizations of males, by victim age and offender sex,
TYPE OF WEAPON AND FORCE USED
_ (_) of all sexual assaults were committed using personal weapons, such as the offender’s hands, fists, feet, arms, or teeth, while involved no weapon or force. Firearms were rarely used to commit sexual assaults. In , _ of all sexual assaults in were committed with a firearm.
Sexual assault victimizations, by weapon type,
Use of firearms to commit sexual assaults was rare, regardless of the type of sexual assault committed. _ rape, _ sodomy, _ sexual assault with an object, and _ fondling victimizations were committed by an offender armed with a gun.
Sexual assault victimizations, by offense type and weapon type,
Sex offenders used personal weapons, such as hands, fists, feet, arms, or teeth in % or more of sexual assault victimizations, regardless of whether the offender was a stranger (%) or someone the victim knew, such as a friend or acquaintance (%) or an intimate partner (%). In , there were recorded sexual assault victimizations () committed by a stranger armed with a gun.
Sexual assault victimizations, by victim-offender relationship and weapon type,
TIME OF DAY AND LOCATION OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS
Sexual assault victimizations recorded by law enforcement peaked at _ However, the time of day at which sexual assaults occurred was strongly correlated with victim age. A juvenile was the victim in most sexual assaults that occurred between the daytime hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Persons age 18 or older were the most common victims of sexual assaults that occurred in the late evening and early morning hours between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Sexual assault victimizations, by incident time of day,
The majority of sexual assaults were committed in a private location, such as a residence or hotel, regardless of the time of day during which the incident occurred.
Sexual assault victimizations, by location type and incident time of day,
Rates of Sexual Assault Victimization, by Victim Demographics
Information on victim characteristics in NIBRS was combined with U.S. Census population estimates to calculate victimization rates for selected demographic groups. The charts below display the overall sexual assault victimization rate for the state and rates for persons grouped by sex, race, and age. When expressed as a rate per 100,000 residents, NIBRS victimization data provides one indicator of the extent to which some demographic groups are at greater risk of sexual assault victimization relative to their share of the state population.
In , there were _ sexual assault victimizations per 100,000 residents. The rate for females (_) was _ times the rate for males (_).
Rates of sexual assault victimization, by victim sex,
The rate of sexual assault victimization in was _ per 100,000 for blacks, compared to _ for whites, _ for American Indians/Alaska Natives, and _ for persons of other races.
Rates of sexual assault victimization, by victim race,
In , _ experienced the highest rate of sexual assault victimization (_ per 100,000), about _ times the overall rate for (_).
Rates of sexual assault victimization, by victim sex and victim race,
Teens ages 14 to 17 experienced the highest rate of sexual assault victimization, compared to other age groups. In 2019, police recorded an estimated _ sexual assaults against persons ages 14 to 17 (_ per 100,000), a rate _ times the overall rate for (_). The rate of sexual assault victimization for females ages 14 to 17 (_ per 100,000) was _ times the rate for boys in this same age group (_) and _ times the overall rate for (_).
Rates of sexual assault victimization, by victim age,
Clearance and Arrest
NIBRS is the only source of incident-based crime data that also provides information about whether sexual assault incidents are cleared and whether law enforcement agencies make an arrest. NIBRS also allows users to examine whether police clearance and arrest outcomes vary according to attributes of the incident, such as the type of sexual assault(s) committed, whether the victim and offender were strangers, whether a weapon was used, and the time of day and location of the incident.
The result is a detailed picture of law enforcement handling of sexual assault incidents that come to their attention. For each sexual assault recorded by law enforcement, NIBRS captures information on whether the incident was cleared and whether the incident was cleared by arrest or by exceptional means. Sexual assault incidents that are cleared by exceptional means are considered solved for administrative purposes but do not result in an arrest or in the prosecution of the offender(s).
At least _ of murder/non-negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, or kidnapping incidents resulted in an arrest. For sexual assault incidents, _ resulted in an arrest. Under certain circumstances, law enforcement agencies may clear an incident by exceptional means rather than arrest. While the incident is still considered cleared, the clearance does not result in the arrest or conviction of an offender. In , the exceptional clearance rate for sexual assaults was _, compared to _ for robberies, _ for aggravated assaults, and _ for kidnappings.
Violent crime incidents that were cleared by arrest, cleared by exceptional means, or not cleared, by offense type,
For every age category, at least _ of sexual assault incidents were not cleared by law enforcement. Sexual assault incidents involving victims ages _ had the highest percentage of incidents resulting in an arrest.