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Health Indicator Report of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence in Utah is a serious public health problem affecting thousands of residents each year. Studies in Utah suggest that 19.9% of females and 6.5% of males experience rape or attempted rape during their lifetime^1^ and nearly one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence during their lives.^2, 3^ Rape is the only violent crime in Utah that is higher than the national average. In a state where other violent crimes, such as homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault, are historically half to three times lower than the national average, this is of concern.^2^ The costs resulting from sexual violence in 2011 totaled nearly $5 billion, almost $1,700 per Utah resident. The Utah state government spent more than $92 million on people known to have perpetrated sexual violence. Only $569,000 was spent on efforts to prevent sexual violence.^4^ More needs to be done to prevent sexual violence in our communities. The Utah Department of Health and Human Services has identified priority risk and protective factors for preventing sexual violence in Utah: [[br]] *Societal norms that support violence/sexual violence[[br]] *Adherence to traditional gender norms[[br]] *Gender equity[[br]] *Association with pro-social peers[[br]] *Skill-solving problems in a non-violent manner[[br]] *Community support and connectedness [[br]][[br]] ---- 1) Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. (2022). Sexual Violence [Data file]. Retrieved from: Utah Department of Health. [[br]] 2) Mitchell, C., Peterson, B. (2007). Rape in Utah. Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Accessed 4/9/2024: []. [[br]] 3) Smith, S.G., Chen, J., Basile, K.C., Gilbert, L.K., Merrick, M.T., Patel, N., Walling, M., & Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: []. [[br]] 4) Utah Violence and Injury Prevention Program. Costs of Sexual Violence in Utah 2015. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Department of Health, 2015 Retrieved from: []. [[br]]


Utah was not able to use the 2015 data as number of responses was considered too small to be considered reliable.

Data Sources

  • Utah Department of Health and Human Services Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention (CDC)

Data Interpretation Issues

'''Revised Definition''': Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim reported to law enforcement. [[br]]'''Legacy Definition''': Forcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Assaults and attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded. At the state level, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program began reporting the revised definition in 2013. They stopped reporting the legacy definition at the state level in 2016. Statistics vary because of differences in how rape is defined and how data is collected. The rape rate includes only those that have been reported to law enforcement and is an underestimate of the actual rape rate. Some law enforcement agencies do not submit a full 12 months of data and some agencies do not submit any data at all. The numerator of the rate is by county of occurrence, not county of residence. County numbers do not reflect data collected from statewide law enforcement agencies. Criminal incidents reported by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Highway Patrol, Utah State Parks and Recreation, and the Utah Transit Authority PD may have occurred anywhere in the state where the agencies have jurisdiction.


__Rape Revised__: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. __Rape Legacy__: Forcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Assaults and attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.


__Rape Revised__: Number of rapes reported to law enforcement that meet the '''revised''' definition. Rape totals include the following crimes: sexual assault with an object, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, and incest. __Rape Legacy__: Number of rapes reported to law enforcement that meet the '''legacy''' definition.


__Rape Revised__: Total number of adult persons in Utah. __Rape Legacy__: Total number of adult persons in Utah.

Other Objectives

Subobjectives for Healthy People Objective 2030 include: ====Healthy People 2030 IVP-17:==== Reduce adolescent sexual violence by anyone

How Are We Doing?

In 2022, an estimated 27% of rape or sexual assaults were reported to the police in Utah.^4^ This clearly indicates that sexual violence rates are underreported. It is important to keep this in mind when referring to federal and state crime reports and statistics.^1^ Among Utah high schools, 14.8% of students report experiencing sexual violence in the past 12 months during 2021. Additionally, 7.7% of students experienced forced sexual intercourse.^3^ National research estimates that eight out of ten rape victims report they were first raped before they turned 25, and four out of ten rape victims report they were first raped before their 18th birthday.^5^ In 2022, Utah Department of Public Safety reported that Beaver, Carbon, Duchesne, Grand, Iron, Juab, Sanpete, Summit, Uintah, Washington, weber, Salt Lake, and Tooele counties had significantly higher reported rape rates than the state rate of 59.5 per 100,000 population.^2^ Rape affects the quality of life and may have lasting consequences for victims. In the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 12.7% of respondents indicated that they experienced a form of sexual abuse as a child (age-adjusted rate). This was significantly higher for females (17.1%) compared to males (8.4%).^6^ In 2022, those who report to have experienced a rape or attempted rape in their lifetime are also significantly more likely to have poor physical or mental health that limited usual activities (37.3% vs. 18.4%), binge drink (22.8% vs. 12.0%), smoke every day (8.3% vs. 6.3%), and felt social isolated (20.7% vs. 7.9%) compared to those who have not experienced lifetime rape.^6^ In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that the majority of rape victims (93.9%) previously knew their perpetrator, 33.5% reported they were an acquaintance, 3.3% reported they knew the person for less than 24 hours, and 6.3% reported their perpetrator was a complete stranger.^4^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Basile, K. C., Walters, M. L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M. T. (2014, September 5). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization - National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(SS08), 1-18. Retrieved from [].[[br]] 2) Utah Department of Public Safety. Bureau of Criminal Identification CIU 2016-2018 Reports. Salt Lake City, UT. Accessed: 12/18/2023: []. *data source; all analysis done by violence and injury prevention program[[br]] 3) Utah Youth Risk Behavior Survey [Data file]. Retrieved from: Utah Department of Health and Human Services.[[br]] 4) Federal Bureau of Investigation (2023). Crime Data Explorer. Accessed 04/04/2024: [].[[br]] 5) National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Accessed 4/8/2024: [][[br]] 6) Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Sexual Violence [Data file]. Retrieved from: Utah Department of Health and Human Services.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, the rape rate in Utah has been consistently higher than the U.S. rate. In 2022, the reported rape rate in Utah was significantly higher than the U.S. rate at 59.5 per 100,000 population compared to 40.^1^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Federal Bureau of Investigation (2023). Crime Data Explorer. Accessed 04/04/2024: [].[[br]]

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) collaborated in 1999 to enlist individuals, organizations, and agencies to participate in a statewide multi-disciplinary council addressing sexual violence. In 2003, the Utah Sexual Violence Council (USVC) was formed. The USVC still exists today and functions as a multi-disciplinary, statewide advisory council that promotes a climate where sexual violence is addressed as a priority issue that impacts all Utah communities. Its vision is to change social norms and improve Utah's understanding of the overwhelming significance of this public health, social service, and criminal justice problem. Since 2000, the VIPP has received Rape Prevention and Education Grant funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The intent of the program is to work on the outer-levels of the social ecology (community, societal) and use approaches informed by identified risk and protective factors to reduce perpetration of sexual violence. In 2016, 2017, and 2022 the Utah State Legislature appropriated funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, housed by the Utah Department of Workforce Services. These funds aim to expand the ongoing primary prevention efforts, by increasing the number of projects in underserved regions of the state, as well as increasing programming for underserved communities, including rural communities, tribal communities, LGBTQ populations, and underserved and high risk groups. In 2019, the Legislature appropriated one-time one-year state general funds for the prevention of sexual and intimate partners violence. These funds are supporting the implementation of prevention efforts in seven communities, as well as the organization of a state collaborative effort to scale prevention work across the state. Prevention efforts in Utah focus on reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors for sexual violence.^1^ These factors are associated with sexual violence, but may not be a direct cause of victimization or perpetration. Priority risk and protective factors in Utah include: societal norms that support violence and sexual violence; harmful norms around masculinity and femininity; lack of skill in solving problems non-violently; societal and community support and connectedness; and emotional health and connectedness. [[br]] [[br]] ---- 1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual Violence: Risk and Protective Factors. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, 2017. Accessed 10/20/2017: [].

Evidence-based Practices

Several strategies have demonstrated evidence for preventing sexual violence perpetration. A systematic review conducted by the CDC Injury Center has identified effective or promising strategies and approaches which have been compiled in their STOP SV Technical Package. A summary of this package and high-level overview of best practice strategies can be found at []. Within each approach listed below there are more specific programs that are considered evidence-based or promising practice that can be implemented or used to inform prevention work in communities. Approaches identified in the STOP SV Technical Package include:[[br]] [[br]] '''S''' - __Promote '''Social Norms''' that Protect Against Violence__[[br]] *Bystander intervention approaches ** Example: Bringing the Bystander, Green Dot *Mobilizing men and boys as allies ** Example: Coaching Boys into Men '''T''' - __'''Teaching''' Skills to Prevent Sexual Violence__ *Social emotional learning skills *Teaching healthy relationships, safe dating, and intimate relationships skills for adolescents **Example: Safe Dates *Promoting healthy sexuality *Empowerment-based training ''' O''' - __Provide '''Opportunities''' to Empower and Support Girls and Women__ *Strengthen economic supports for women and families *Strengthen leadership and opportunities for girls ''' P''' - __Create '''Protective''' Environments__ *Improving safety and monitoring in schools *Establishing and consistently applying workplace policies *Addressing community-level risks through environmental approaches [[br]] [[br]] The CDC recommends approaching sexual violence prevention by addressing risk and protective factors at various levels of the social ecology, especially when those risk and protective factors are shared between multiple forms of violence. Our social ecology describes the ways in which our environments, surroundings, and settings, interact with us as individuals and people. Some of those risk and protective factors include: [[br]] [[br]] __Risk:__[[br]] *Societal norms that support violence/sexual violence *Adherence to traditional gender norms *Gender inequality *General tolerance of sexual violence within community *Alcohol and drug use *Involvement in violence/abusive relationships *Social isolation/ lack of social support *Association with sexually aggressive, hyper-masculine, and delinquent peers *Hostility towards women *Childhood history of physical, sexual, emotional abuse *Suicidal thoughts and behavior *Risky sexual behavior *Traditional gender norms *Victim-blaming[[br]] [[br]] __Protective:__ *Association with Prosocial Peers *Skills in solving problems in a non-violent manner *Community Support *Emotional health and connectedness *Empathy and concern for how one's actions affect others *Self-efficacy for bystander intervention From [].[[br]] [[br]] A great resource for learning more about shared risk and protective factors and addressing multiple forms of violence is the Connecting the Dots tool at the CDC VetoViolence site: [[br]][]. Shared risk and protective factors apply to public health and prevention work outside of violence, as well. We can utilize risk and protective factor approaches along with social determinants of health to impact population-level change more broadly and further upstream.

Available Services

^ ^ ====Statewide 24-hour Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis and Information Line 1-888-421-1100 ====[[br]] __ Cache & Rich Counties__[[br]] Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA) 435-753-2500 __ Box Elder County__[[br]] New Hope Crisis Center 435-726-5600 __Davis County__[[br]] Safe Harbor 801-444-3191 (Business) and 801-444-9161 (Crisis) __Weber & Morgan Counties__[[br]] YCC, Ogden 801-394-9456 and 801-392-7273 (Crisis) __Salt Lake County__[[br]] Rape Recovery Center 801-467-7282 (Business) and 801-467-7273 (Crisis)[[br]] South Valley Services 801-255-1095 (24-hour), TTY/Text Helpline: 385-266-6208 __Tooele County__[[br]] Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy 435-843-3100 __Summit & Wasatch County__[[br]] Peace House 435-658-4739 (Business) 800-647-9161 (Crisis) __Juab, Utah, Wasatch Counties__[[br]] Center for Women and Children in Crisis 801-377-5500 __Iron, Beaver, & Garfield Counties__[[br]] Canyon Creek Services 435-865-7443 (Business) and 435-867-9411 (Crisis) __Washington & Kane Counties__[[br]] Dove Center 435-628-0458 __Sevier, Wayne, Piute, Millard, & Sanpete Counties__[[br]] New Horizons Crisis Center 435-896-9294 and 1-800-343-6302 (toll-free)) __Carbon & Emery Counties__[[br]] Family Support Center 435-636-3739 (Business) [[br]] Carbon County Sheriff's Office 435-636-3250 (Crisis & Victim Advocate) [[br]] Price City Policy Department 435-636-3190 (Crisis & Victim Advocate) __ Grand and San Juan Counties__[[br]] Seekhaven 435-259-2229 __San Juan County__[[br]] Victim Advocacy Program, Sheriff's Office 435-459-1819 __Uintah, Daggett, Duchesne Counties__[[br]] Vernal Victim Advocates 435-789-4250 and 435-789-4222 (after hours)

Health Program Information

The Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is a trusted and comprehensive resource for data related to violence and injury. Through education, this information helps promote partnerships and programs to prevent injuries and improve public health. The VIPP goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health and Human Services capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Page Content Updated On 04/04/2024, Published on 05/15/2024
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 22 June 2024 4:31:57 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 15 May 2024 14:26:36 MDT