We are four months into 2014 and New York City has reported 22 cases of rape and 44 cases of other kinds of sex crimes that are recorded by the New York City Police Department.

Click HERE for the interactive chart by Priyanka Gupta.

Number of cases of Rape in NYC

Number of cases of miscellaneous sex crimes



When trying to uncover how prevalent street harassment is in New York City’s five boroughs, we stumbled across a roadblock.

There is currently no data specifically on street harassment, according to Sophia Mason, New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner of public information.

“There’s no separation between sexual harassment and regular harassment,” Mason said in a telephone conversation early April. “Whether you’re yelling at someone on the street or saying something sexual, it’s not broken down. It’s all under one umbrella.”

Regular harassment is defined as any type of imposed intimidation, which can be following, texting or calling nonstop, or bullying, for example, according to the DCPI. With sexual harassment, the main difference is the sexual part. It’s any gender-based harassment such as sexually explicit comments or any unwanted sexually inappropriate touching.

If you look at the NYPD’s crime statistics, or CompStat as officers refer to it, you will see a week to date and year to date number of reported incidents, ranging from murder, rape and robbery to petty larceny, misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor sex crimes. A catcall, a grope, or public masturbation are all acts of sexual harassment, and would be classified under misdemeanor sex crimes.

Local not for profit groups have taken the initiative to develop their own data-gathering tools to find out how many incidents of street harassment occur in the Big Apple.

Hollaback, a movement to end street harassment, acquired its facts through launching multiple sites around the globe, and the sharing of stories have helped map out where street harassment incidents take place. The organization also created and unveiled an app that victims can utilize to report various forms of street harassment, which can be forwarded to their respective city council districts.

Similar to Hollaback, Stop Street Harassment, also based in the New York City, has dedicated itself to documenting and ending street harassment nationally and internationally since 2008. The organization is currently accepting donations to help fund the first-ever countrywide study on street harassment. Its plan is to survey 2,000 people, half men and half women between the ages 18 and 30.

New York State does have statutes in place that address harassment, but the problem is growing rapidly.

Reported forcible rapes per 100,000 people, listed on CNN, from the  FBI Crime Statistics.

1. New Jersey – 11.7

2. New York – 14.6

3. Virginia – 17.7

4. Vermont – 19.3

5. North Carolina – 20.3

6. Hawaii – 20.5

7. California – 20.6

8. Maryland – 21

9. Wisconsin – 21.3

10. Georgia – 21.4

11. West Virginia – 22.7

12. Massachusetts – 24.7

13. Missouri – 25.1

14. Louisiana – 25.2

15. Indiana – 25.5

16. Connecticut – 25.6

17. Pennsylvania – 26.1

18. Delaware – 26.5

19. Wyoming – 26.7

20. Alabama – 26.9

21. Florida – 27.2

22. Rhode Island – 27.4

23. Mississippi – 27.5

24. Illinois – 27.7

25. Maine – 28

26. Iowa – 28.3

27. Kentucky – 29

28. Oregon – 29.2

29. Texas – 29.6

30. Idaho – 30

31. Minnesota – 30.5

32. Tennessee – 31.5

33. Ohio – 31.7

34. Washington – 31.8

35. Utah – 33

36. Nevada – 33.7

37. New Hampshire – 34

38. Arizona – 34.7

39. South Carolina – 35.5

40. Kansas – 36.5

41. District of Columbia – 37.3

42. Montana – 37.7

43. Nebraska – 38.3

44. North Dakota 38.9

45. Colorado – 40.7

46. Oklahoma – 41.6

47. Arkansas – 42.3

48. New Mexico – 45.9

49. Michigan – 46.4

50. South Dakota – 70.2

51. Alaska – 79.7

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every two women and one in every five men have experienced sexual violence at one point in their lives. So far this year, New York City has had 22 rape incidents reported with Bronx’s seven at the top of the list and Staten Island’s zero at the bottom.  Sex crimes totaled 44, with parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx totaling 10 incidents each.

While sexual violence is usually associated with rapes, unwanted sexual contact or verbal harassment also falls under that category.

Though a large number of street harassment cases go underreported, Mason said she’s not really sure why that is. She could not confirm if it’s the process of reporting the incident or the way in which the case is handled by a precinct afterwards had anything to do with the low percentage.

“I would have to manually go through every single complaint report on harassment to see what was said,” Mason said. “It’s there, but it would be difficult to find.”

With an eight and a half million populace, it could take months for an officer to go through all sexual harassment reports and find out specifics on gender, location, and type of harassment, she said.

The more information given, the higher the chances are of a perpetrator being caught and prosecuted, Mason said.

Until lawmakers pass legislation requiring the police to make street harassment its own category in NYPD crime statistics, people will have to rely on the nonprofit organizations like Hollaback, Stop Street Harassment, and others for their main source of information.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of street harassment and would like to seek professional counseling, the Feminist Majority Foundation has a list of national hotlines and resources by state.


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