TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – Every major crime index fell in Florida last year, with the exception of one: forcible rape.
Victim advocates are applauding the increasing number of reports.
Advocate Meg Baldwin says rape is the most under-reported crime in Florida and the nation.
“If you take the reported number and multiply it by five, with the understanding that there is a twenty percent reporting rate, then you are probably reaching the right number for what the real incidence of sexual assault is,” Baldwin said.
The most pressing reason victims don’t report is the fear of not being believed.
“She was afraid to like call the police because she didn’t want anyone to be mad at her,” said a friend of a victim.
Because rape is so under-reported, when reports go up, as they have the last five years in a row in Florida, advocates know they are doing their job.
“When we see it go down, we’re concerned whether we are doing the right kind of outreach to encourage victims to come forward for help. When we see it go up, that can be an indication that the community is doing a good job,” said Baldwin.