This is a powerful and very sobering report. This highly-regarded study
concludes that about 12.7% of adult women in Iowa -- one in every eight
-- have been a victim of the crime of forcible rape sometime in their
lives. That means about 146,000 Iowa women have suffered this horrible
crime. That is a stunning and challenging fact. Click here for PDF version
of "Rape in Iowa: A Report to
I commend IowaCASA, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, for putting
this report before us here in Iowa - and for all the work IowaCASA does
to advocate for victims and serve them. I also commend the Iowa Dept.
of Public Health for its work and for its understanding that sexual violence
truly is a public health issue.
Actually, the true incidence of rape in Iowa is substantially higher even than
12-13%, because this study does not count statutory rapes, rape of male
victims, rape of females currently under 18, and several other categories.
But a very conservative estimate of 'One in Eight' still is a horrifying fact
- especially because the trauma of rape is not limited to the incident
of the assault. The study concludes that tens of thousands of the Iowa
victims have experienced or still experience various mental health
problems from their victimization, including post-traumatic stress disorder,
major depression, substance abuse, serious suicidal thoughts, and suicide
The report serves as a call to action and renewed commitment both to prevent
rape and to assist rape victims.
The Attorney General's Office plays a significant role in the criminal justice
system regarding sexual assault, including prosecuting offenders, working
on the civil commitment program for sexual predators, handling all criminal
appeals, and constantly working to improve our criminal statutes. (For
example, we are asking the Legislature this year to extend the statute
of limitations for sexual abuse when DNA identifies a suspect so that,
if a suspect is identified by DNA, the statute of limitations is extended
to three years from the date of that identification.)
I also want to emphasize three programs managed by the Crime Victim Assistance
Division of our office to assist rape victims and the people who work
with them - because we want victims to know about these programs and
take advantage of them:
The Sexual Abuse Examination
Payment program pays for sexual abuse examinations that collect evidence
-- and assures that victims' health is attended to. The exams are
done at local clinics and hospitals all over the state and are free and
confidential for the victims (the victim is not required to report the
crime.) This program aids the health of victims, and it also preserves
evidence, should a criminal prosecution ensue. We highly encourage rape
victims to go to their local hospital or clinic promptly for this important
exam and assistance.
The Crime Victim Compensation
Program pays victims' out-of-pocket expenses for consequences of the
crime such as lost wages, counseling, and medical care. Victim compensation
funds come entirely from fines and penalties paid by criminals. Compensation
can't erase the painful consequences of sexual assault, but it can assist
in recovery and help ease the financial burdens that result.
The Victim Service Grants
program directs state and federal resources to some 33 local sexual
abuse programs all over the state that support victims through the
medical, counseling, and justice systems. It's only a portion of their
funding, but it helps these independent programs fulfill their crucial
Let me just close with a special word about IowaCASA and this network
of 33 local programs who work with the victims of rape and other forms
of sexual assault. These valiant workers truly are in the front lines
aiding the One in Eight every day. They are there 24 hours a day providing
services to victims of assault. They accompany victims to hospital and
clinic exams, and accompany victims as they work with law enforcement
and go to our courts. The programs provide counseling and support. They
do all this on bare-bones budgets - but they do it with high quality work
and professionalism. They truly are pioneers in helping the One in Eight
through the terrible trauma of rape and sexual assault.
[END of Tom Miller statement]
Click here for PDF version
of "Rape in Iowa: A Report to
Rape in Iowa: A Report to the State is available from IowaCASA (515-244-7424, www.iowacasa.org.) It extrapolates
information for Iowa from the Rape in America Report on research conducted by Dean G. Kilpatrick, PhD, and Kenneth J.
Ruggerio, PhD, of the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center at the medical University of South
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699.
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