In Western States, 1 in 5 Women Have Been Raped

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(WOMENSENEWS)–National statistics on rape indicate that 13.4 percent of women in the U.S. have been forcibly raped sometime during their lifetime, but that percentage is much higher for some states, such as in Alaska where 20.9 percent of women have been forcibly raped, reports new data released by the Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island.

The report defined forcible rape as “an event that occurred without the girl’s or woman’s consent that involved the use of force or threat of force, and that involved sexual penetration of the victim’s vagina, mouth, or rectum.” The study does not include instances of attempted rape, drug facilitated rape or statutory rape.

Relying on information gathered by the federally-funded National Violence against Women Prevention Research Center, the report is the first time that national research about rape has been broken down to state levels. The researchers used data from national studies such as the National Women’s Study, published in 1991, and the National Violence Against Women Survey, published in 2000, and analyzed it on a state-by-state level using demographic and risk factor information including race or ethnicity, age at the time of survey, household income and region of the country.

Some regions of the country were found to have less than the national average of forcible rape, such as the Mid-Atlantic region consisting of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey at an average of 10 percent. The Mountain region, stretching from New Mexico and Arizona to Idaho and Wyoming, averaged 19.6 percent of women having been forcibly raped.

— Samantha Xu

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