SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A new report shows the number of rapes reported in San Jose has gone up an alarming amount, rising 263 percent in the past decade.
The numbers came from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.
At the YWCA in San Jose, the rape crisis center hotline gets 4,000 calls a year, a number that has steadily increased over the past ten years.
CEO Tanis Crosby says one of the factors may be that more victims are reporting the crimes.
She says the #MeToo movement has helped victims come out of the shadows.
“We must ensure that as a community we recognize and uphold a survivor’s right to be supported and be believed,” said Crosby.
Another factor may be the change in the FBI’s definition of forcible rape, which used to be “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
But in 2013, that changed to “penetration, no matter how slight, without consent of the victim.”
The FBI said the old definition excluded 40-percent of victims.
San Jose police declined an on-camera interview, but Chief Eddie Garcia told the website SanJoseInside.com it may just be that more victims are choosing to come forward.
He told the website, “We can’t do this on our own. We know it’s an incredible violation when this occurs. Our victims need help, many times, to come forward.”
The YWCA says their rape hotline is staffed 24 hours a day.
“What I’m also really mindful of is the discourse that’s happening right now around victim blaming,” said Crosby. “I think it’s really important that we continue to repeat and absolutely sustain that we believe survivors. We are there for survivors. And we support survivors coming forward as they choose.”