“How Many Rapes Are Stopped Each Year By A Gun?”

Someone stopped by searching for “how many rapes are stopped each year by a gun.”

Let me rephrase that a bit, for clarity. If we made the question “How many intended rapes are never carried through because the potential victim may have a gun,” we can start trying to find some actual numbers to break down.

Conventionally, there are about 1,800 rapes a day in the United States, and as little as one in ten is reported to the police.

Other sources peg the number of forcible rapes at just over one a minute, or 425,000 forcible rapes a year.

On the other hand, the National Crime Victimization Poll indicates a total of 188,960 completed rapes, with a reporting rate of 12.5% for 2006, the latest numbers available.

Of course, those numbers are not “official.” The official numbers are the numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime Report. For 2010, the FBI had a total of 84,757 rapes, 232 rapes a day, reported to the police.

If we accept the NCV poll’s 12.5% reporting rate, that would be 678,000 rapes a year. So we have a fine muddle, with between 85,000 and 1,800,000 rapes occurring each year. So what’s the true number.

The latest independent crime victims polls estimate that 512,000 rapes occur each year, 1,400 a day, and just under 17% are reported to the police. That agrees with the FBI numbers, so I will go with 512,000 rapes, with 17% or one in six reported to the police.

With the magnitude of the problem established:

In the early 1990’s a study concluded that 650 rapes a day were stopped because the victim was – or may have been – armed. But the number of women who carry, and the number of homes with guns, is much higher now.

The latest prisoners surveys estimate that 3,600 rapes a day are never attempted because the victim either showed a gun, said she had a gun, or the rapist though the victim had a gun for some other reason.

So one way or the other, guns prevent 3,600 rapes a day, or more than 1.3 million rapes a year.

That is an enormous amount of human misery prevented by the mere presence of a gun.


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