On Sexual Assault in the Greater Boston Area
While homicide is an issue, it is a much smaller problem (statistically speaking) than rape. I will be talking about forcible rape, as defined by the FBI.
In 2012 the FBI changed their definition of rape for UCR.
The old definition was “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
Many agencies interpreted this definition as excluding a long list of sex offenses that are criminal in most jurisdictions, such as offenses involving oral or anal penetration, penetration with objects, and rapes of males.
The new Summary definition of Rape is: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” (Text from a 2014 FAQ released by the FBI)
Numbers from 2012 onward reflect a different definition of what [forcible] rape is–legally speaking.
CIUS and Disaster Center both use the term “forcible rape” in their reporting. Both groups showed increases in total reported cases–though by hundreds in the case of CIUS and a thousand in the case of Disaster Center.
Rapes – National 2011-2013
CIUS local data only includes certain urban areas. Please note the population total for those rows.
MA – Estimates Based on National Averages
*Includes Boston-Quincy, MA; Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA; and Peabody, MA and Rockingham County-Strafford County, NH
MA – Actual
Since CIUS data is reported, there is incomplete reporting. The numbers above reflect 96.6%, 98.6%, and 95% of agencies reporting (respectively). The CIUS numbers and the DC ones are for different sized populations, with the regions of one being a subset of the other. There was a marked increase between 2012 and 2013 in the state of MA. Reporting for the newer, more liberal definition of rape was first recorded (fully) in 2013.
For city specific data, I also got numbers from City Data, which used a different term, so I included a column to specify. I could not think of a good way to organize this table. It would probably make a nicer graph.
Boston, Cambridge, Somerville – Actual
|Boston – CRU||2010||N/A||256||N/A||rape|
|Boston – City Data||2011||621,359||271||43.6||rape|
|Boston – CIUS||2011||621,359||271||43.6||forcible rape|
|Boston – City Data||2012||636,479||249||39.5||rape|
|Boston – CIUS||2012||630,648||112||17.6||forcible rape|
|Boston – CIUS||2013||N/A||138||N/A||forcible rape|
|Cambridge – CRU||2010||N/A||16||N/A||rape|
|Cambridge – City Data||2011||105,803||24||22.7||rape|
|Cambridge – CIUS||2011||105,803||24||22.7||forcible rape|
|Cambridge – City Data||2012||106,471||20||18.7||rape|
|Cambridge – CIUS||2012||106,981||10||9.3||forcible rape|
|Cambridge – CIUS||2013||N/A||8||N/A||forcible rape|
|Somerville – CRU||2010||N/A||13||N/A||rape|
|Somerville – City Data||2011||N/A||17||22.3||rape|
|Somerville – City Data||2012||77,104||23||29.8||rape|
These are just forcible rapes (as defined above) reported to the police who then, in turn, report them to the FBI. Common practice says that this only scratches the surface of sexual assault as it exists around the nation.
I really need to figure out good ways to make graphs for these posts. I think some graphs would be nice.
If you’re still looking for a New Years resolution, I would recommend that you don’t rape anyone in 2015, and encourage people who have been raped to report it.