National researchers have evidence to suggest that federal crime reports
may not be providing a clear picture for sexual assaults. According to
the National Research Council (NRC), experts have found that a fair percentage
of sexual assaults are underreported and undercounted. A large part of
this problem, experts suggest, stems from the ways in which sexual assault
victims are treated.
According to a Crisis Intervention Supervisor for the St. Louis YWCA, underreporting
is a long-standing problem. For various reasons, victims are often hesitant
about coming forward and reluctant about exposing themselves and their
offenders. The NRC estimates that as much as 80% of sexual assaults in
the country go unreported to police – a sign this supervisor states
could be caused by a lack of support.
Sexual assault cases reported to authorities have declined in recent years
and are less than just a decade ago. Officials in St. Louis state that
hospital visits relating to sexual assault are consistent each year. However,
many victims still choose to not speak with authorities.
In order to raise awareness and offer support, organizations such as the
St. Louis YWCA are aiming to spread the word about the support the organization
can provide sexual assault victims. Local law enforcement agencies and
specialized sex crime units are also training and implementing new strategies
for communicating with victims and helping them step forward about alleged
Sexual assault and
sex crimes are a serious concern in St. Louis and the entire country. Authorities
and support groups partner together to provide victims with the support
they need and assistance with navigating the legal and criminal justice
system. For those who stand accused of a sex crime in St. Louis, this
network of support and this focus on strictly enforcing sex crime laws
have made even accusations a serious, difficult experience. Formal charges
and the threat of long-term penalties make the situation one that demands
the assistance of a Missouri sex crime attorney.
At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, we believe that individuals charged with crimes
are innocent until proven guilty and that they have the right to experienced
and proven legal representation. If you or your loved one has recently
been charged with a sex crime in St. Louis or any of the surrounding communities
contact us discuss your case personally with a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer.