Greg Kelly, a local New York television anchorman and son of the police commissioner, has been charged with attempting to rape a woman he met at bar.
While Kelly’s guilt or innocence is a long way from being established, incidents of rape and sexual assault in the United States are more common that one might assume.
The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) has revealed some disturbing facts about sexual violence in this country.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey, 207,754 people (age 12 or older) are raped or sexually assault each year – which means someone is attacked every two minutes.
However, the incidence of reported sexual assaults has been in decline over the past two decades -- by more than 60 percent since 1993, according to RAINN.
What complicates this picture is that most rapes are never reported to the police. RAINN estimates that three out of five sexual assaults are never reported, much less prosecuted.
Taking into account the unreported rapes, only 6 percent of rapists ever spend one day in jail.
Even the report of a rape does not necessarily mean that the culprit will face justice. RAINN noted that when a rape is reported, there is a 50.8 percent chance of arrest. If such an arrest is made, there is an 80 percent chance of prosecution. In the event of a prosecution, there is a 58 percent of conviction. Finally, in the event of a conviction, there is a 69 percent chance the rapist will service prison time.
Overall, factoring in all of the above, a rapist has a five-in-six chance of getting away with the crime entirely.
The identity of rape victims is also eye-opening -- 10 percent of annual victims are male (most of whom never report the crime to the police.)
Also disturbing, 15 percent of reported rape and sexual assault victims are children under the age of 12 (most of whom are female).
RAINN further states that: one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime; 17.7-million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape; 80 percent of all victims are white, although minorities are “somewhat more likely to be attacked.”
For white women, 17.7 percent have been victims of rape of attempted rape in their lifetimes; for black women the figure is 18.8 percent.
However, among American Indian/Alaskan women, more than one-third (34.1 percent) have been sexually assaulted during their lifetimes.
Interestingly, only 6.8 percent of Asian Pacific Islander women have been so victimized.
Who are committing all these rapes?
In most cases, it is not a stranger.
RAINN stated that about 73 percent of rapists knew their victims (38 percent are friends/acquaintances; 28 percent are intimates; and 7 percent are relatives).
Most rapes also occur in familiar surroundings (40 percent in the victim’s own home; 20 percent in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative).
The average rapist is 31 years old – and 52 percent of them are white. About one-sixth of all rapists are teenagers; and one-third of all rapists were intoxicated on drugs or alcohol during the time of the assault.
Also of interest, only 11 percent of rapes involve the use of a weapon (gun or knife).
Most convicted rapists are serial criminals who often commit other crimes (that is, most of them are not serial rapists).