"97% of rapists don't spend a day in jail" - why this feminist statistic is dishonest, and harmful to victims. [Original Analysis] (self.MensRights)
113 ups - 26 downs = 87 votes
Lately, I've seen a lot of people quoting the 97% statistic – that is, “97% of rapists do not go to jail.”
Unsurprisingly, this statistic, like many other feminist statistics, is misleading, dishonest, and demonstrably false.
This statistic comes from RAINN and perhaps other places as well.
Is it really true that someone who commits rape only has a 3% chance of going to jail? No.
The first problem is that the statistic assumes that every rape reported to police is true. Given that even convicted rapists have later been exonerated, to say nothing of the fact that:
>Moreover, commencing in 1989 in cases of rape and rape-murder where there has already been either arrest or an indictment, the FBI has conducted large numbers of DNA tests “to confirm or exclude the person. In 25 percent of the cases where they can get a result, they excluded the primary suspect.”
This assumption is obviously quite false.
The second – and even bigger problem – is that the statistic simply assumes that every rape not reported to police – that is, only reported on an anonymous survey is a truthful and accurate claim of rape. It goes without saying how false this is.
In addition, the statistic they used for this, the National Crime Victimization Survey: 2008-2012, may even be an outright lie.
>(Other than any incidents already mentioned,) has anyone attacked or threatened you in any of these ways (Exclude telephone threats) – Any rape, attempted rape or other type of sexual attack –
>Question 43a: Incidents involving forced or unwanted sexual acts are often difficult to talk about. (Other than any incidents already mentioned,) have you been forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity by –
As we can see from the survey, respondents who said that they were “threatened” (i.e., not raped) or experienced “unwanted sexual activity” (but not rape) could still be counted as rape victims (RAINN has not explained their methodology of how they used the NCVS to arrive at their figure, so the lack of transparency means their figures cannot be fully analyzed). Clearly, this is dishonest.
The third problem is that the statistic assumes that every rapist who is imprisoned, only committed one rape. If instead that rapist committed several rapes (and was therefore responsible for several reports), that would double, triple, quadruple, etc. the percentage of rapists who were imprisoned.
This is quite a dishonest and unreasonable assumption, given that the majority of rapists are serial offenders:
Of the 120 in the sample who claimed to commit rape, 76 of them were repeat offenders while the others only once. This 63% of the rapists committed an average of 5.8 rapes.
The “97% of rapists don't go to jail statistic” is dishonest because:
- It assumes all rape claims made to police are true (in reality, even some convicted rapists, let alone those who are not even charged, are victims of false claims).
- It assumes all rape claims NOT made to police are true – obviously false.
- It assumes all rapists who go to jail only committed one rape (most likely false given that most rapists tend to be serial offenders)
If you see anyone repeating this dishonest statistic, that in fact harms rape victims (a rape victim who believed it might reasonably think, I should not bother reporting my rape since it's a 97% chance they won't go to jail) – point them to this post and tell them not to say it again.
30 comments submitted at 18:32:44 on Jan 26, 2014 by Celda