National Rape Statistics


1. Introduction

2. Official Criminal Justice Statistics

3. Victimization Surveys

4. Perpetrator Surveys

5. Surveys of Service Providers

6. References



Current government efforts at counting crime include official criminal justice statistics, victimization surveys, and surveys of service providers. Others have attempted to measure crime through self-report surveys. The advantages and disadvantages of each method of counting sexual assaults are summarized in Table 5 and detailed below.

Table - Comparison of sexual assault data collection methods


Criminal Justice

Victimization Surveys

Perpetrator Surveys

Service Providers

Geographic Area(s) National,
Local National,
Respondents Criminal Justice Population Population Health,
Social Services
Organizational Level Organization Individual Individual Organization,
Cost High High High Medium
Validity Low Medium Medium Medium
Reliability Low High Medium Medium
Confidentiality Low High High High



Greenfeld, Lawrence A. February 1997. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ-163392.

Koss, Mary. 1992. The Measurement of Rape Victimization in Crime Surveys. Criminal Justice and Behavior 23 (1): 55-69.

Koss, Mary. 1992. The Underdetection of Rape: Methodological Choices Influence Incidence Estimates. Journal of Social Issues 48 (1): 61-75.

Koss, Mary. 1993. Detecting the Scope of Rape: A Review of Prevalence Research Methods. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 8 (2): 198-222.

Koss, Mary. August 15, 1997. Our Guys and Gals: Pre-Enlistment Sexual Assault Victimization and Perpetration Among Naval Recruits. Annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Chicago, Illinois.

Koss, Mary, and Dinero, T. E. 1987. Predictors of sexual aggression among a national sample of male college students. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 528: 133-147.

Maguire, Kathleen, and Ann L. Pastore. 1996. Sourcebook of Criminal and Justice Statistics 1995. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, D.C.: USGPO.

National Victim Center, and Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center. April 23, 1992. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. National Victim Center.

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. June 1991. Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1989: A National Crime Survey Report. NCJ-129391.

Walker, William D., Rowe, Robert C., and Vernon L. Quinsey. 1993. Authoritarianism and Sexual Aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65(5): 1036-1045.


Arizona Rape and Sexual Assault Surveillance Project
University of Arizona, University of Arizona Prevention Center
All contents copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.