Rape in California

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Parker Bradford, Editor of Community

Andrew Pennington, a 19-year-old citizen in Castaic, was arrested on September 30th, 2021, charged with rape by use of drugs/intoxicants. It is believed he used a combination of alcohol and drugs during the assault, which took place on August 4th and was reported on August 12th.

Andrew Pennington is only one in a sea of cases in California this year. So far, the total number of rape cases reported in California this year, according to World Population Review, is 14,799. That translates to about 37 people per 100,000 in California, or 17% of the national total of 84,767 reported cases of rape. The only state with a higher number of reported rape cases was Texas who saw exactly 25 more cases than California so far this year. Keeping that in mind, you may be surprised to learn that California is statistically the 16th safest state, even though its larger population bolsters its number of cases to higher than virtually any other state in the United States. For reference, the state with the highest rate of rape is Alaska, with a rate of 150 per 100,000; the second-highest state only has a rate of 77 per 100,000.

As it can be clearly seen, rape is a prominent issue in the U.S., and it places 13th on the list of countries with the highest rates of reported rape.

These numbers are not taking into account the rape cases that go unreported to police, as it is nearly impossible to keep track of unreported cases. However, it is to be expected that a higher percentage of rapes are unreported than those that are reported. In 2003, it was believed that 61.5% of all rapes in the U.S. went unreported to police.

Not only is the U.S. facing a problem with rape in general, but rape involving intoxicants of some kind, especially alcohol, is increasingly common. Estimates show somewhere between 32% and 76.5% of rapes in the U.S. in previous years involved either the perpetrator, the victim, or both being under the influence of alcohol.

Now that we’ve seen the statistics for the U.S. in total, let us remember that over 17% of all reported rape cases in the U.S. this year were in California. This is more than just a disgusting trend, it is a tragedy.

If you want to help stop rape and other sexual violence, or yourself have been a victim of these attacks, you can visit RAINN. They are one of the country’s leading anti-sexual violence organizations. Real change will only come when stricter laws are put in place, and when we as a people feel safer to make reports to the police. Many rape victims are afraid that they will not be taken seriously, or that it will only put them in further danger, and that is a very toxic environment, especially with something this atrocious. Examples of this are Sweden, who is seeing higher rates of rape cases not entirely because rape is becoming more common, but because rape is being more widely reported in their country due to laws in support of rape victims.

This is a problem that isn’t going away, and treating it as if it is unimportant will only make it worse. Reading this article is a start, but simply being aware of the issue isn’t enough, it was never enough. Educating yourself should be the very first step on a long journey to fixing this issue.