“The Justice Department says the rate of sexual violence against women and girls age 12 or older fell 64 percent in a decade and has remained stable for five years.
In 2010, women and girls nationwide experienced about 270,000 rapes or sexual assaults, compared with 556,000 in 1995, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics survey released Thursday.
Rates declined from a peak of 5 per 1,000 women in 1995 to 1.8 per 1,000 women in 2005. The figure remained unchanged from 2005 to 2010.
Overall, violent crime has fallen by 65 percent since 1993, from 16.8 million to 5.8 million in 2011. The drop has been attributed by experts to a variety of factors — from better policing to a reduction in the segment of the population that is most crime prone, ages 15 to 24. Koss says some of the same factors explain the stabilizing trend in rapes and sexual assault.