BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Rape and Sexual Assault
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has initiated two projects to identify, develop and test the best methods for collecting self-report data on rape and sexual assault. In June 2011, BJS charged an expert panel from the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) to examine conceptual and methodological issues surrounding survey statistics on rape and sexual assault and to recommend to BJS the best methods for obtaining such statistics on an ongoing basis. In September 2011, BJS made a competitive award to Westat, Inc. to develop and test two different survey designs for collecting self-report data on rape and sexual assault. One design is to be an optimal design identified by the CNSTAT panel and the other will be similar to designs used in the public health approach for measuring rape and sexual assault. Estimates from these two designs will be compared to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Please see BJS Activities on Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault for more information on these projects.

Rape - Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

Sexual assault - A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.  These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender.  Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling.  It also includes verbal threats.

 

Publications & Products


Criminal Victimization, 2014 Presents 2014 estimates of rates and levels of criminal victimization in the United States.
  Press Release | PDF (745KB) | ASCII file (42KB) | Comma Separated Values (CSV) (Zip format)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Rape and Sexual Assault Among College-age Females, 1995-2013 Compares the characteristics of rape and sexual assault victimization against females ages 18 to 24 who are enrolled and not enrolled in college.
  Press Release | PDF (535K) | ASCII file (53K) | Comma-delimited format (csv) (Zip format)

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011 Presents data on trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2011. Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
  Press Release | PDF (1M) | ASCII file (33K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 25K)
Part of the Intimate Partner Violence Series

Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 Presents trends in the rate of completed or attempted rape or sexual assault against females from 1995 to 2010.
  Press Release | PDF (1.4M) | ASCII file (34K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 26K)

Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 OVER 60 PERCENT DECLINE IN SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST FEMALES FROM 1995 TO 2010
  Press Release

Victimizations Not Reported to the Police, 2006-2010 NEARLY 3.4 MILLION VIOLENT CRIMES PER YEAR WENT UNREPORTED TO POLICE FROM 2006 TO 2010
  Press Release

Criminal Victimization, 2009 Presents the annual estimates of rates and levels of violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault), property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft), and personal theft (pocket picking and purse snatching).
  Press Release | PDF (420K) | ASCII file (24K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Rape and Sexual Assault: Reporting to Police and Medical Attention, 1992-2000 Presents information on the consequences of rape and sexual assault for female victims. The study provides the percentages of completed rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault of females that were reported to the police in 1992-2000.
  PDF (182K) | ASCII file (10K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 12K) | Codebooks and Datasets

Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault Data address the extent of sex offending in 1995 compared to previous years, pretrial release and adjudication of rape offenders, corrections for sex offenders, and sex offenses and murder.
  PDF

The Crime of Rape 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.
  PDF
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Terms & Definitions

Rape Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender (s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.
 
Sexual assault A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.
 
Violence, crimes of Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery or assault. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes. It does not include purse snatching and pocket picking. Murder is not measured by the NCVS because of an inability to question the victim. Completed violence - The sum of all completed rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for definition of completed crimes. Attempted/threatened violence - The unsuccessful attempt of rape, sexual assault, personal robbery or assault. Includes attempted attacks or sexual assaults by means of verbal threats. See individual crime types for definition of attempted crimes.