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Temporal Variation in the Likelihood of Police Notification by Victims of Rapes, 1973-2000

NCJ Number
207497
Date Published
April 2004
Length
105 pages
Author(s)
Eric P. Baumer
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Report (Study/Research)
Grant Number(s)
2002-WG-BX-0001
Annotation
This study utilized data from the National Crime Survey and the National Crime Victimization Survey to explore the likelihood of police notification by rape victims, specifically whether female rape victims have become more likely to report victimization to the police during the past three decades.
Abstract
Through previous research, it is well-known that many victims do not report violent victimizations to the police. The decision not to notify the police effectively eliminates the possibility of arresting the perpetrator of the violent act. It is therefore important to identify the factors and situations that inhibit or facilitate police notification. Utilizing data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) from 1973-1991 and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) from 1992-2000, this study supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, explored whether the likelihood of police notification for rape had increased since the early 1970's. Three specific questions were explored: (1) whether the overall likelihood of reporting by rape victims had increased between 1973 and 2000; (2) whether any observed increase in the likelihood of police notification during this period had been more prominent among incidents involving non-strangers; and (3) whether differences in the likelihood of police notification between incidents involving strangers and non-strangers had diminished significantly over time? The study was restricted to incidents that involved a female victim and one or more male offenders. The study sample utilizing NCS data included 1,609 rapes, and the sample utilizing NCVS data included 636 rapes. The findings from this study were consistent with previous studies on aggregate data that showed an upward trend from 1973 to the mid-1980's in police notification in non-stranger rapes. This study indicated the trend continuing through the early 1990's. The study also showed a significant increase in the likelihood of police notification overall after controlling for other factors. Future research recommendations are presented and discussed. References, figures, tables and appendix
Date Created: November 3, 2004