DENVER — A new report lists Denver has one of the worst cities in America for sexual violence.
DatingAdvice.com analyzed data from the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report and found there were 514 reported rapes in Denver that year. However, experts say the crime is typically underreported.
The city of Denver had fewer than 650,000 people in 2013, making it the 22nd largest city in the nation. But, according to the data, it’s 5th worst for rapes according to the DatingAdvice.com report.
That’s not all. Three other cities in Colorado also appeared on the list of 24. Colorado Springs made the list at number 12, Aurora at number 16 and Pueblo at number 22. But, it may not be just simple math.
“Different law enforcement agencies gather data differently,” said Karmen Carter, the Executive Director for The Blue Bench, a Denver-based sexual assault advocacy group. Carter said 60 percent of these crimes are not reported.
Additionally, the FBI crime report includes a new definition for rape and a legacy definition for rape. Denver and the other three Colorado cities are reported under one definition while places like New York City are reported under another. Clearly New York City has more reported rapes than Denver, but it is not in the top 20 in this particular report.
“What we have to do is change the culture around this issue,” she said. That starts with a national conversation.
“It’s on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn`t tolerated,” said President Obama in a PSA-type announcement during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show.
Carter said, “All of those things begin to have an impact.”
Still though, Carter said she can’t explain why Colorado appeared four times on a list of just 20 cities. But, she is hopeful that perhaps Coloradans are just more aware. “What I`d like and hope it means is that in Colorado we`re talking more about the issue of sexual assault and encouraging people to come forward.”
Another sobering reality, according to Carter, is the number of sexual assaults in this county hasn’t decreased at all in the last 30 years.
If you or someone you know if the victim of sexual violence, you can call The Blue Bench’s sexual assault hotline at 303-322-7273.