Rise in rape reports in Redding could mean less are willing to stay quiet

Jul 24, 2014 8:02 PM

75% of women in the U.S. who are sexually assaulted and physically battered don't report the crime, because they feel ashamed and guilty -- A women's shelter in Shasta County has been working to change that, and they say the spike could be due to heightened awareness.

"Drugs, alcohol, all of these increase as poverty is around and people can't pay bills...they get angry, they drink and rape is one of the outcomes."

One Safe Place, a sexual and domestic abuse shelter for women and children around Shasta County has been getting the word out about how to stop violence -- and it looks like it's working.

"This year we've seen 112 rapes come to us...in comparison to last year where there were 90."

That's a 13% increase in reported rapes for Shasta County.

King says law enforcement traditionally has a lower number of reported rape cases because often, women are afraid to prosecute their aggressor -- but it looks like the tables have turned.

Earlier this week, the Redding Police Department reported a total of 22 rapes for 2013 and 28 for the first half of 2014 -- a 27% increase.

"Most of these aren't stranger rapes, most happen by either a boyfriend or a husband...even worse, a grandfather, uncle, cousin, brother..."

King also says domestic violence and rape have a direct relationship.

The shelter has seen a 20% increase in domestic violence across Shasta County during the same time frame.

So what can you do if you become a victim to sexual violence?

"First is get to a hospital to get the evidence in...from there we step in....getting help from us means you can get counseling...financial support...a place to stay..."

One Safe Place continues to encourage women to report sex crimes to law enforcement, because they say more often than not the aggressor is repeatedly committing the same crime.


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