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Reply #71: Much the same in cases of child rape [View All]

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Liberal Classic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-15-04 11:51 AM
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71. Much the same in cases of child rape
Most children are not sexually abused by strangers, but by friends of the family, relatives, or other adults with some relationship to the child such as a day care worker.

There were variations in these overall patterns when the relationship of perpetrator to the child victim was considered. Less than 3 percent (2.5%) of parents committed sexual abuse; however, 28.9 percent of other relatives, 19.3 percent of daycare providers, 16.4 percent of residential facility staff, and 11.2 percent of unmarried partners of parents committed sexual abuse (figure 5-3). More than one-third (36.9%) of perpetrators who were in "other" types of relationships to the child victimsincluding camp counselors, school employees, and hospital staffcommitted sexual abuse.

Source U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services:

http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm02/c...

I believe in cases of sexual assault against adults, only around one third of rape victims described their attacker as being a stranger.

More than six in ten rape or sexual assault victims stated the offender was an intimate, other relative, a friend or an acquaintance.

Source U.S. Dept of Justice:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_c.htm

Also from the same source:

Family members were most likely to murder a young child -- About one in five child murders was committed by a family member -- while a friend or acquaintance was most likely to murder an older child age 15 to 17.

For murder victims, 44% were related to or acquainted with their assailants; 13% of victims were murdered by strangers, while 43% of victims had an unknown relationship to their murderer in 2000.


There seems to be a generally accepted notion in this country that rape and murder are largely impersonal crimes. However, statistics do not bear this out, especially in crimes against children, but even to a large degree in violent crimes against adults.

As Mark Twain once remarked, "Get your facts straight first. Then you can distort them anyway you want." I am not going to draw any sweeping conclusions from the figures I have just cited. In my opinion, issue advocacy groups such as the Violence Policy Center and the National Rifle Association take statistics and try to get them to fit their preconceived notions. Additionally, the accuracy and completeness of government is sometimes itself the question, especially concerning crimes like sexual abuse which are often far underreported. Though such figures are useful in limited circumstances, we must be careful not to make sweeping generalizations.

My purpose, however, was to illustrate the that much of the violent crime that occurs is perpetrated by people familiar to the victims in some way. I am not going to draw a sweeping generalization, but I will say that to me, this means that there is something deeper going on than just the issue of firearms.
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