Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rape Cases Decline; Court Reviews Abortion Ban

The number of rape cases in the United States has declined by 85 percent since the 1970s, according to statistics released by the Justice Department, the Washington Post reported June 19. In 1979, 2.8 rapes occurred for every 1,000 people. In 2004, the rate had decreased to 0.4 rapes per 1,000 people. "Overall, there has been a decline over the last 10 to 20 years," Kim Gandy, president of the Washington-based National Organization for Women, said. "It's very liberating for women, in terms of now being able to be more free and more safe." The data is drawn from statistics collected by police departments as well as a national crime victims' survey that is meant to track crimes not reported to officials. Because the declines have been consistent through the years, some organizations, such as the Washington-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, are seeing the drop as a byproduct of increased public awareness and prevention efforts as well as broader crime trends.

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