“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.

Stranger

About Stranger

A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.
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