At first I dismissed Representative Todd Akin‘s weak statement about rape and conception as more political cant like that about abortion. Another statement about women that sidetracked the real issue of violence in our society. The candidate had supplied no statistics and yet he gained international attention.
Just a month before, I looked up the statistics of violence against women in Minnesota, thinking of a move. I had been told that the crime rate was better in Minneapolis. In 2009, Duluth boasted a zero rate of rape while the rate in Minneapolis was about five times per capita that in New York City. I lived in South Minneapolis in the 1980s while attending graduate school and, although many women were from outstate Minnesota (towns or small cities), we didn’t know how quickly the crime was rising.
According to this chart, rape and assault increased 20 times in Minnesota from 1960 to 1995.
|Note: The complete chart also includes statistics for Larceny Theft and Vehicle Theft.|