CDC survey finds 1 in 5 women victim of rape - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CDC survey finds 1 in 5 women victim of rape

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

University of Iowa student Ellen Evrard has been studying into the early morning hours to prepare for finals.

"At night, I hate, hate walking back to my apartment," she said.

Rather than walk home alone in the dark, Evrard does her part in avoiding being put in a potentially vulnerable situation.

"Usually my boyfriend picks me up anytime I'm at the library late or I drive my car," she said.

While Evrard is reducing her risk of running into problems, Karla Miller with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City says communities should be focusing elsewhere in preventing these horrific crimes.

"It's not women changing their behavior.  You can reduce your risk certainly, but it's focusing on the behaviors of the offenders," Miller said.

RVAP in Iowa City took calls on 249 rape cases this past year.  Maybe surprising to some, 85 percent of these rape cases are perpetrated by someone the victim knows- a neighbor, a classmate, or even a significant other.

Officials urge people with suspicion to get a potential victim out of harm's way.

"We encourage people to get their friends, the people they may have gone with, people they may to know, to safety, and not have them go off with the individual," Miller said.

If someone is in immediate danger a call to the police is warranted.

What's important, Miller says, is that people act when there's signs abuse may be taking place.

"It's all of us against the sex offenders."

The most recent numbers from a Center for Disease Control Survey finds that one in five women are victims of rape in their lifetime.
Nearly half of those victims said the incident occurred before age 17.

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