Reports of rape in LA show decline during first half of 2019
The number of rapes reported in the City of Los Angeles fell 23% during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2018.
From Jan. 1 – June 30, 2019, there were 468 reported rapes, down from 611 for the first six months of 2018, according to publicly available LAPD data.
For rape victims in the first six months of the year, 453 were female, six were male and nine victims had no information on their sex.
Child rape victims so far this year were as young as four years old.
These numbers likely don’t reflect the total incidents that took place, as rape is one of the most underreported crimes. Nationwide, only about one quarter of rapes are reported, meaning about 75% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
In the City of Los Angeles, for the past nine years, the number of reported rapes has fluctuated, hovering around 1,000 per year since 2010, when the LAPD started making its data publicly available.
There were also declines in the two other forcible sex crime categories in LAPD data for the first six months of the year.
The first is what the LAPD calls “sexual penetration with a foreign object,” which the department defines as using an “object or instrument” to penetrate the genital or anal opening of another person against the person’s will. The department records this crime separately from rape.
From Jan. 1 – June 30, 2019, there were 132 reports of “sexual penetration with a foreign object,” compared with 211 at this time last year, a decrease of about 37%. Though, the longer-term trend in the city shows an increase since the LAPD data became publicly available in 2010.
For the final forcible sex crime, “sodomy,” there was also a slight decline in the first six months of this year compared to the same time period last year. According to the LAPD, sodomy is oral or anal sexual intercourse with a penis against a person’s will.
There were 59 reported crimes of sodomy for the first half of this year, compared with 86 reported during the first half of last year. This year, there were 32 female victims, 26 male victims and 1 victim of unknown sex.
The general trend in forcible sodomy is a slight rise since 2010, when the LAPD first made its data publicly available. There was a nine year low in 2013 with 112 reports and a high in 2017, with 169 reports. Last year, there were 159 sodomy crimes reported.
From 2010 – 2018, there were 642 female victims, 652 male victims, three victims of unknown sex and two cases where the victim’s sex was left blank in the data.
How we did it: We examined publicly available LAPD data on forcible sex crimes, which include rape, attempted rape, penetration with a foreign object and sodomy. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here.
LAPD data only reflects crimes that are reported to the department, not how many crimes actually occurred. In making our calculations, we rely on the data the LAPD makes publicly available. The LAPD periodically updates past crime reports with new information, leading the department to recategorize past reports.
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