Utah's Sexual Assault Rate Outpaces U.S. Average
April 12, 2010
The state Department of Health is observing National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, noting the sexual assault rate in Utah is about 10 percent higher than the national rate. According to a department survey, up to one-third of Utah women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime. Strangers only commit about 13 percent of rapes, DOH said. The vast majority of perpetrators are family members, including spouses and partners.
The rate of sexual assault for Utah females is 63.7 rapes per 100,000 females, compared to the US rate of 57.4 per 100,000. The state rate declined about 10 percent over a decade ending in 2008. Nonetheless, about 88 percent of rapes are never reported to law enforcement agencies. The reasons for Utah's high rate are complex, but researchers do know some risk factors.
"Unfortunately, one of those risks is being young, and we have one of the highest rates of young people under the age of 18," said Alana Kindress, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The state is "not doing real well in teaching how to conduct relationships where we are not violating someone else's boundaries," she said.
For more information, visit http://utahsaam2010.wordpress.com/.
Salt Lake Tribune
04.06.2010; Nate Carlisle
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.