Forcible Rape

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Definition

Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.

Data collection

  • The UCR Program counts one offense for each female victim of a forcible rape, attempted forcible rape, or assault with intent to rape, regardless of the victim’s age. A rape by force involving a female victim and a familial offender is counted as a forcible rape and not an act of incest. All other crimes of a sexual nature are considered to be Part II offenses; as such, the UCR Program collects only arrest data for those crimes. The offense of statutory rape, in which no force is used but the female victim is under the age of consent, is included in the arrest total for the sex offenses category. Sexual attacks on males are counted as aggravated assaults or sex offenses, depending on the circumstances and the extent of any injuries.
  • For this overview only, the FBI deviated from standard procedure and manually calculated the 2007 and 2008 rates of females raped based on the national female population provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Overview

  • In 2008, the estimated number of forcible rapes (89,000)—the lowest figure in the last 20 years—decreased 1.6 percent from the 2007 estimate. The estimated volume of rapes in 2008 was 6.4 percent lower than in 2004 and was 0.5 percent below the 1999 level. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • The rate of forcible rapes in 2008 was estimated at 57.7 offenses per 100,000 female inhabitants, a 2.4 percent decrease when compared with the 2007 estimated rate of 59.2.
  • Rapes by force comprised 92.5 percent of reported rape offenses, and attempts or assaults to commit rape accounted for 7.5 percent of reported rapes, according to data reported to the UCR Program in 2008. (Based on Table 19.)

Expanded forcible rape data

Expanded offense data are the details of the various offenses that the UCR Program collects beyond the count of how many crimes law enforcement agencies report. These details may include the type of weapon used in a crime, type or value of items stolen, and so forth. In addition, expanded data include trends (for example, 2-year comparisons) and rates per 100,000 inhabitants.

Expanded information regarding forcible rape is available in the following tables:
Trends (2-year): Tables 12, 13, 14, and 15
Rates (per 100,000 inhabitants): Tables 16, 17, 18, and 19

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