Bureau of Justice Statistics Assessment of the Rape and Sexual Assault Pilot Test   [open pdf - 403KB]

From the Document: "The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) funded the methodological research described in the third-party report, 'Methodological Research to Support the National Crime Victimization Survey: Self-Report Data on Rape and Sexual Assault - Pilot Test' (NCJ 256011, BJS, January 2021). The purpose of the Pilot Test was to develop and test a new methodology for measuring rape and sexual assault, with the goal of collecting more accurate statistics on the nature and frequency of those crimes. The third-party report detailing the results of the Pilot Test does not provide official government statistics, nor does it provide nationwide statistics. This assessment by BJS, published in connection with the third-party report, evaluates the methodology of the Pilot Test, and it provides context for interpreting data presented in the third-party report. During testing, the Pilot Test's methodology--which was developed and tested by Westat in collaboration with BJS--proved problematic in a variety of ways. It generated extremely high rates of rape and sexual assault that deviated profoundly from statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Pilot Test surveyed a total of about 5,800 females ages 18 to 49 across five metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in 2014 and 2015: Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Phoenix. Through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, state and local law enforcement agencies convey to the FBI how many rapes are reported each year to law enforcement, including in those five MSAs."

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