In 2020, Oklahoma ranked 32 (out out of 50) for the rate of rapes in the United States. Alaska ranked 50 with 154.8 rapes per 100,000 people, and New Jersey had the lowest at 14.4 per 100,000
Rapes reported to law enforcement per 100,000 people.*
*For this dataset, rape is defined as “the carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.”
Sexual violence is a broad term that includes numerous behaviors. Some of those behaviors require physical contact (like forced penetration and unwanted fondling) and some do not (think verbal harassment).
National data on the full range of sexual violence that included a state-by-state breakdown was last published in 2017 and analyzed survey results from 2010-2012.
Data on rape, which is only one type of sexual violence, paints a narrower but more current picture of sexual violence in Oklahoma. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is frequently updated and allows us to compare rape cases reported to law enforcement across the nation. That’s why we use it as our main metric, but it isn’t perfect.
Cases cannot be broken down by gender, and it is important to note that many rapes are never reported to law enforcement. So while 52.8/100,000 (or 0.05%) of Oklahomans reported a rape to law enforcement in 2020, 8.9% of Oklahoma women alone reported having had sex without their consent in the same year.
In 2021, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies reported 4,532 unique victims of sex offenses, which comprised 7.6% of all victims of crimes against persons. Women comprised 85.4% of these victims. Only 340 arrestees were reported for these crimes.
Through more recent and inclusive research, we know that women who are disabled, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or Black, Brown, or Indigenous, are more likely to experience sexual violence. They are also less likely to report it to healthcare providers or law enforcement.
Women are more likely to experience sexual violence than men.
Women often internalize experiences of sexual violence as a personal failing. This is likely why when compared to other women, those who live through a sexually violent incident are more likely to suffer from PTSD and experience recurring reproductive, stomach, heart, and sexual health problems.
Survivors of sexual violence may also develop negative health behaviors like smoking, abusing substances, and engaging in risky sexual activity to cope with the fallout of their experience.
The long-term mental and physical consequences of sexual violence can also affect women’s jobs and relationships. Survivors may need time off work to heal and see their work performance diminish. This can lead to lack of career advancement and even job loss.
When lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and medical costs are all considered, estimates put the lifetime cost of rape at $122,461 per victim.
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