The sexual assault surveillance currently implemented in Arizona is a limited example of surveying service providers for sexual assault surveillance information. The data for the annual Violent and Abusive Behavior Data Report is collected by telephoning organizations that provide sexual assault services to victims. Programs funded through the Rape Prevention Education grant are contacted. These include the most active rape crisis programs in the state. In addition, efforts are made to contact other service providers as well, such as Victim Witness organizations and rape crisis programs that have not been funded.
The questions asked last year included the number of people provided rape-related counseling, the number of people attending rape prevention education, the number of law enforcement personnel trained in response to rape and sexual assault, and the number of hotline calls received.
|Data Item||Number||Reporting Period|
|Rapes reported to law enforcement||974||1/1/95 12/31/95|
|Women provided rape-related counseling||559||7/1/94 6/30/95|
|People attending rape prevention education||21110||7/1/94 6/30/95|
|Law enforcement personnel trained||82||7/1/94 6/30/95|
|Rape hotline calls received||5966||7/1/94 6/30/95|
Table 8 summarizes selected state sexual assault statistics. In Arizona in 1994-95, 974 women reported rape or attempted rape to law enforcement in the areas serviced by the service providers included in the report, 559 people were provided rape-related counseling, 82 law enforcement personnel were trained in response to rape and sexual assault, and 5966 rape hotline calls were received.
About half as many people as reported rapes to law enforcement were provided counseling in person, but about 6 times as many people called the rape hotlines as reported to law enforcement. This is twice as high as the approximately 3 times as many people reporting to the NCVS. Although hotline calls may be for information or referral as well as crisis, we can probably infer that more people are disclosing sexual assaults to service providers than to the NCVS or law enforcement.
Much of the 1995-96 Violent and Abusive Behavior Data Report was dedicated to pointing out the limitations of the data as it is currently collected. As a vehicle for accounting for how funds are spent, the current data-collection efforts are adequate. However, as an attempt to collect data that may help to ameliorate the problem of sexual assault, there are limitations. First, data reported by participating providers should be standardized. For example, hotline calls should be disaggregated into crisis, information, and referral calls and counseling services should be reported by type, e.g. psychological or advocacy. Second, more providers should be included. Many service providers throughout the state, including all of the tribal lands, were not included in last years report. A true statewide surveillance system should include as much of the population as possible geographically and socially.
Arizona Rape and Sexual Assault Surveillance Project
University of Arizona, University of Arizona Prevention Center
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