Sexual Violence Data: Actions Needed to Improve Clarity and Address Differences Across Federal Data Collection Efforts, Report to the Ranking Member, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate [open pdf - 4MB]
"Concerns have grown about sexual violence--in general, unwanted sexual acts--in the United States, particularly involving certain populations such as college students, incarcerated individuals, and military personnel. Data on the occurrence of sexual violence are critical to preventing, addressing, and understanding the consequences of these types of crimes. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to identify and compare federal efforts to collect data on sexual violence. This report addresses two questions: (1) What are the federal efforts underway to collect data on sexual violence, and how, if at all, do these efforts differ? (2) How do any differences across the data collection efforts affect the understanding of sexual violence, and to what extent are federal agencies addressing any challenges posed by the differences? GAO reviewed agency documentation and academic literature, and interviewed agency officials. GAO recommends that Education, HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services], and DOJ [U.S. Department of Justice] make information that is included in their measurements of sexual violence publicly available. GAO also recommends that OMB establish a federal interagency forum on sexual violence data. Education, HHS, and DOJ agreed with the recommendation. OMB stated that convening a forum may not be the most effective use of resources at this time, in part because the data collection efforts are not far enough along in their research. However, OMB said it will consider convening or sharing information across agencies in the future"
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/