Researchers Find Sexual Assaults Underreported
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 attackers.
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 of Missouri, contact us discuss your case personally with a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer.