There are many reasons why a victim of sexual assault may not report the crime to law enforcement, or ever even discuss it with family, friends or other loved ones.
Embarrassment. Fear of reprisal. Believing the myth that rape victims are somehow responsible for the assault. Fear of the response from family or friends. Not wanting to get the assailant in trouble with the law. Fearing that the police would not do anything to help. Trying to convince themselves that this was not a big deal. A desire to move on and not ever have to think about it again.
Trauma impacts each of us in different ways. An experience that may lead one person to immediately go to the hospital or to the police may cause the next person to internalize their pain. No option is better than the other -- it is what each person needs to do at that moment to survive.
Of course, even when sexual assaults are reported, the vast majority of rapists are never arrested, prosecuted or convicted. For every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 310 are reported to the police. Of those 310 reported assaults, 57 alleged rapists will be arrested. Only 11 of those 57 arrests will be referred to the District Attorney for prosecution. 7 will result in felony conviction. Finally, for every 1,000 sexual assaults in the United States, only 6 rapists will ever be incarcerated. This may also play a role in why many victims choose to not report.
At Blackburn Center, we believe victims. We support victims. We are here for victims.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence or any other type of violence or crime, contact us anytime at 1-888-832-2272 or 724-836-1122. We offer a range of services for women, children, and men. All are available free of charge, and are always confidential.
Why Victims Wait to Report
How We Can Help