Even though the #MeToo movement is now pushing more victims of sexual assault to speak up, Police departments in the US are closing less rape cases that they used to in the 1960’, according to FBI data.
That is just 32% of rape cases closed in 2017, which is down from approximately 62% solved back in 1964, according to an FBI table that includes data going back to the early 1960s. The report, however, does not specify how many rape cases end in arrests and how many are exceptionally cleared.
Experts say that this is partly due to the fact that not enough resources are being supplied in sexual assault investigations, especially now when more and more victims are coming forward. As well as partly due to a greater police willingness to correctly classify rape cases, thus leaving them open indefinitely, leaving the possibility of making an arrest someday, even when there is little hope of solving them.
In spite of the new technology we are benefiting from nowadays and the fact that the majority of victims know their attacker, many investigations are short of actual physical evidence and corroborating witnesses, especially since a significant number of complaints are reported months or years after they take place.
Back in 2013, FBI expanded on the definition of rape and included oral penetration and attacks on men. After that there was a rise in the number of rapes reported from about 84,500 per year between 1995 and 2012, to around 126,400 in 2016. Leading to 166,000 in 2017 when sexual assault got unprecedented national attention due to accusations against President Donald Trump and Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein, both denying the accusations.
After the #MeToo movement, rape complaints in New York City saw a rise by 24.5%, therefore, the NYPD transferred three dozen investigators to the division in order to lower the caseload per detective. They also started a campaign encouraging victims of sexual assault to come forward.
Source: The Associated Press: apnews.com