New data shows a slight increase in number of victims reporting sexual assaults to law enforcement.
The number of such reports has increased by 5 percent from 2009, according to a new report released Monday by the Office of Justice Assistance.
Tami Jackson with the office says although the number of reports has gone up, it doesn’t necessarily mean the number of incidents has increased. “It is not representative of potentially all of the assaults that have occurred in the state. It only represents those offenses that have been reported to law enforcement.”
Jackson notes sexual assault is the number one underreported crime across the nation and in Wisconsin. “The FBI estimates only about 33 percent of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement. The available data and statistical projections that we have estimate that maybe as few as 19 percent of sexual assaults in Wisconsin end up being reported to law enforcement.”
Jackson says law enforcement is one of many groups that a victim of sexual assault might contact. Victims might seek other service and support options, including hospitals, emergency room staff, medical staff, family doctors, sexual assault programs, counselors, and clergy.
In more than half of all reported sexual assaults, the offender was a non-family member who was known by the victim, according to the report.
In 2010 4,857 assaults were reported to law enforcement, up from 4,633 sexual assaults reported in 2009.