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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Sexual Violence

Why Is This Important?

Sexual violence in Utah is a serious public health problem affecting thousands of residents each year. Studies in Utah suggest that one in six women and one in 32 men experience rape or attempted rape during their lifetime^1^ and nearly one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence during their lives.^2, 3^ The costs resulting from sexual violence in 2011 totaled nearly $5 billion, almost $1,700 per Utah resident. The Utah state government spent more than $92 million on people known to have perpetrated sexual violence. Only $569,000 was spent on efforts to prevent sexual violence.^4^ Rape is the only violent crime in Utah that is higher than the national average. In a state where other violent crimes, such as homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault, is historically half to three times lower than the national average, this is of concern.^2^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. (2016). Sexual Violence [Data file]. Retrieved from: Utah Department of Health. [[br]] 2) Mitchell, C., Peterson, B. (2007). Rape in Utah. Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Accessed 10/6/2017: []. [[br]] 3) Smith, S.G., Chen, J., Basile, K.C., Gilbert, L.K., Merrick, M.T., Patel, N., Walling, M., & Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: []. [[br]] 4) Utah Violence and Injury Prevention Program. Costs of Sexual Violence in Utah 2015. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Department of Health, 2015 Retrieved from: []. [[br]]

Female Forcible Rape, Utah and U.S., 2002-2016

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Data Sources

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2017

Data Notes

Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program Legacy Definition: Forcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Assaults and attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded. In 2013, the definition was revised to: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. To provide trends before 2013, the legacy definition was used, providing rates for female forcible rape. The rape rate includes only those that have been reported to law enforcement and is an underestimate of the actual rape rate. Some law enforcement agencies do not submit a full 12 months of data and some agencies do not submit any data at all.

Risk Factors

Research has identified the following risk factors for sexual violence perpetration: alcohol and drug use, impulsive and antisocial tendencies, hostility towards women, history of sexual abuse as a child, witnessing family violence as a child, associating with sexually aggressive and delinquent peers, strongly patriarchal relationship or family environment, lack of employment opportunities, general tolerance of sexual assault within the community, weak community sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence, societal norms that support sexual violence, male superiority and sexual entitlement, and weak laws and policies related to gender equity.[[br]] [[br]] ---- Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Sexual Violence Fact Sheet (accessed 1/4/2017) []

How Are We Doing?

Unfortunately, the majority of rapes (88.2%) are not reported to law enforcement.^1^ This clearly indicates that sexual violence rates are underestimated. Because we know that rape is underreported, it is difficult to gauge the magnitude of the problem using federal and state crime reports. Among Utah female high school students, the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that 8.9% have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to, and 5.9% of male high school students. National research estimates that eight out of ten rape victims report they were first raped before they turned 25, and four out of ten rape victims report they were first raped before their 18th birthday.^2^ From 2006 to 2015, Utah Department of Safety reported that Carbon, Duchesne, Grand, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Uintah counties had significantly higher reported rape rates than the state rate of 93.7 per 100,000 female population.^3^ Rape affects the quality of life and may have lasting consequences for victims. In the 2016 survey, 12.9% of respondents indicated that they experienced a form of sexual abuse as a child. This was significantly higher for females (15.2%) compared to males (6.6%).^4^ In 2016, those who report lifetime rape were significantly more likely to have seven or more poor mental health days (38.6% vs. 14.9%), miss more than seven days of work or activities (22.7% vs. 13.2%), have difficulty concentrating or remembering (19.4% vs. 7.9%), binge drink (18.2% vs. 13.39%), smoke every day (9.4% vs. 4.9%), have difficulty doing errands alone (12.5% vs. 3.3%), and have poor health (6.3% vs. 2.3%) compared to those who have not experienced lifetime rape.^4^ The 2016 Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System showed that the majority of rape victims (87.8%) previously knew their perpetrator, only 3.9% reported they were on a first date, 2% reported they knew the person for less than 24 hours, and 6.3% reported their perpetrator was a complete stranger.^4^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Mitchell, C., Peterson, B. (2007). Rape in Utah. Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Accessed 10/6/2017: []. [[br]] 2) Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Basile, K. C., Walters, M. L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M. T. (2014, September 5). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization - National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(SS08), 1-18. Retrieved from [].[[br]] 3) Utah Department of Public Safety. Bureau of Criminal Identification CIU 2015. Salt Lake City, UT. Accessed: 10/25/2017: []. [[br]] 4) Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. (2016). Sexual Violence [Data file]. Retrieved from: Utah Department of Health. [[br]]

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) collaborated in 1999 to enlist individuals, organizations, and agencies to participate in a statewide multi-disciplinary council addressing sexual violence. In 2003, the Utah Sexual Violence Council (USVC) was formed. The USVC is a multi-disciplinary, statewide advisory council that promotes a climate where sexual violence is addressed as a priority issue that impacts all Utah communities. Its vision is to change social norms and improve Utah's understanding of the overwhelming significance of this public health, social service, and criminal justice problem. Since 2000, the VIPP has received Rape Prevention and Education Grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The intent of the grant is to work on outer levels of the Social-Ecological Model through a risk and protective factor approach to reduce perpetration and victimization of sexual violence. In 2016 and 2017, the Utah State Legislature appropriated funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, housed by the Utah Department of Workforce Services. These funds aim to expand the ongoing primary prevention efforts, by increasing the number of projects in underserved regions of the state, as well as increasing programming for underserved communities, including rural communities, tribal communities, LGBTQ populations, and underserved and high risk groups. Programs and services in Utah focus on reducing risk factors for victimization and increasing protective factors for perpetration.^1^ These factors are contributors and might not be a direct cause of victimization or perpetration. Priority risk and protective factors in Utah include: societal norms that support violence and sexual violence; harmful norms around masculinity and femininity; lack of skill in solving problems non-violently; societal and community support and connectedness; and emotional health and connectedness [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual Violence: Risk and Protective Factors. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, 2017. Accessed 10/20/2017: [].

Healthy People Objective: (Developmental) Reduce sexual violence

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 11/07/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 24 August 2019 21:18:10 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT