Reporting Rape

Reporting Rape
By: Wes Wallace

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --National statistics reveal only 10% of all rapes ever get reported. Not surprisingly, most of those sexual assaults are between two people who know each other.
However, the string of recent rapes in Paducah, KY don't necessarily follow the trend.
"Most of the time if the attacker is a stranger, the victim won't hesitate to report the assault," explains Tammy Gwaltney, director of the Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence, "They're more likely to come forward since they don't have any reservations. That's much different than say if they were attacked by a relative or someone they know."
Investigators haven't said anything about a relationship between the victims and attackers in Paducah, but in at least one of them, it was a stranger who assaulted a woman.
"More people are coming forward these days, but we'd still like to get that number way up," says Gwaltney, "A lot of public campaigns and awareness has been raised over the years, so we get more reports, but this is the only violent crime that goes way under-reported."
Gwaltney also says her office mostly handles child sex abuse cases, and that those crimes far outweigh adult sexual assaults. She encourages people of all ages to report such attacks, no matter when they happened.