The good news in a crime report just released by the FBI is that violent crime was down in the first half of 2013 for Anchorage. The bad news for Anchorage was that property crimes spiked during the same period of time.
The Anchorage Daily News says the report shows violent crimes in the categories of murder, robbery and aggravated assault declined by 1.4 percent during the first 6 months of 2013.
Property crimes jumped 14.4 percent during the first half of 2013 over 2012. The category includes burglaries, larcenies/thefts, and motor vehicle thefts.
The six-month snapshot also shows an increase of rape: a jump from 145 reported incidents from January to June of 2012, to 199 for the same months in 2013.
Advocacy groups like STAR—Standing Together Against Rape—say the increase is due in part to a broader definition of rape that paints a more accurate picture of its prevalence.
“A young girl at a college dorm, who might get a roofie slipped into her drink, under the old definition which was over 80 years old, that assault would not have been categorized as a rape,” said Amanda Price with STAR. “Under the new definition, it is.”
The new definition also includes some sexual assaults against men.
While the rise in numbers may look alarming, STAR hopes it leads to more people coming come forward to report a crime too often surrounded in silence.
”It’s also important to realize that when an increase in statistics occurs, that means that more people are getting help for their trauma,” Price said.