Many Wyoming rape victims know their attacker

Apr 20, 2012

April is sexual assault awareness month and Becca Fisher of the Albany County SAFE Project, which assists victims, says many people have misperceptions about rape.

“A lot of us are taught to believe that it’s going to be a stranger jumping out from the bushes, or someone on a dark street when we’re alone walking at night. And that’s not typically how it happens.”

Fisher says in about 90 percent of sexual assault cases, the victim and the perpetrator know each other, sometimes very well.

The Centers for Disease Control indicate that more than 40 percent of Wyoming women are assaulted in their lifetime. The Albany County SAFE Project, which assists victims, says the majority of cases go unreported.  Fisher notes that  even when they end up in court, it’s hard to prove sexual assault.

“Because oftentimes what will happen is the perpetrator will say, ‘Well yeah we had sex but it was consensual sex, and so then it becomes a he said she said type of investigation.”

Fisher says most perpetrators of sexual assault do not end up in prison.