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Statistics and Characteristics of Offenders

Sexual assault statistics

  • 1995 estimates indicate that 260,300 rapes and attempted rapes and nearly 95,000 sexual assaults and threats of sexual assault were committed against persons 12 years of age or older (Greenfeld1 1997).
  • In 1998, 20,608 arrests were made for forcible rape and 62,045 arrests were made for other sexual offenses (FBI1 1998).
  • 43% of all rapes/sexual assaults occur between 6 p.m. and midnight.
  • Six out of every 10 rapes/sexual assaults occur in the homes of victims, family members, or friends (Greenfeld, 1997).
  • Sexual assault victimizations are highest among young adults between the ages of 16 and 19, low income individuals, and urban residents (Greenfeld, 1997).

Criminal history characteristics of adult sex offenders

  • In 1994, it was estimated that 12% of imprisoned violent sex offenders had a prior conviction for rape or sexual assault, while 61% had a prior felony conviction for other crimes (Greenfeld, 1997).
  • In 1997, approximately 234,000 convicted sex offenders were under the care, custody or control of corrections agencies on an average day. Nearly 60% were under conditional supervision in the community (Greenfeld, 1997). By 1998, this number grew to 265,000.

Characteristics of juvenile sex offenders

Juvenile sex offenders are typically between the ages of 13 and 17. They are generally male.

  • 30–60% exhibit learning disabilities and academic dysfunction.
  • Up to 80% have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.
  • Many have difficulties with impulse control and judgment.
  • 20–50% have histories of physical abuse.
  • 40–80% have histories of sexual abuse