Is Human Isolation Causing Alaska's Rape Epidemic?
By Martha Z. Martinez on January 28, 2009
According to the FBI, Alaska's reported forcible rapes per capita were two and a half times the national average. It also mentioned that Alaska has been the leading state with this crime statistic for many years.
It is a well-known fact that this country has a problem with rape and domestic violence incidences. With Alaska being the leader in statistics, it's no wonder that Americans are asking what could cause a state to have such high figures in sexual assault. This is also the reason why WomenOnGuard.com, picked Anchorage Alaska for their monthly pepper spray donation recipient.
For years women and men have always been extra cautious about violent crime in big cities or urban areas. This has been a topic of many discussions. If a person lives in a very populated area, they should take extra precautions. We've heard that women, especially, are at risk of being raped or sexually violated in large cities and that they should take precautionary steps to avoid becoming a victim. But Alaska does not fall into this category or assumption. Alaska's population is small and dispersed throughout a state that has more land than half the size of the continental United States. Yet rape exists in epidemic proportions in Alaska.
It is well known that men outnumber women in Alaska. This could be a factor that might determine the higher numbers in rapes or domestic violence. There are a lot of dark winter months in Alaska, which could facilitate violators to commit sexual assault without getting caught by authorities. There are also more lonely men, since men outnumber the women in Alaska. These and some other factors could be the reasons for Alaska's high sexual assault ratings.
There is one reason, though, that might actually be the main reason for these statistics and it is the isolation of humans in Alaska. With so much vast territory people are very isolated from each other. Alaska has many small villages besides the large city of Anchorage. It has been known for years now that small towns or villages are famous for hiding crime committed by their own members. So and so is related to this person or the other and to be quiet about such things is the law in small towns. Many of these small-populated areas are very conservative and consider crimes such as domestic violence, taboo. They consider these types of acts as personal and certainly not open to public scrutiny. Many sexual assailants get away with their violent crime while the victim has to suffer and hide the truth.
WomenOnGuard.com donated pepper spray this month to Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), in Anchorage, Alaska. STAR's mission is to provide the best quality of crisis intervention, education and advocacy services to victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and their families and their community.