Reported rapes in Tennessee rose 6.8 percent last year, reports The Tennessean. Only two in five rapes get reported, says the federal victimization survey. Some sexual assault awareness organizations hail a nationwide rise in reported rapes as “good news.” Across the country the increase last year was just shy of 1 percent. “I think we’re seeing two good trends,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. “One being that rape is way down from where it was a decade ago. And more recently we’ve seen a higher percentage of victims reporting attacks to police.” Between 1993 and 2003 the number of people who said they were the victims of rape fell by 80 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of rape victims who reported the crimes to authorities rose about 10 percent, says the U.S. Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey.
Mary Martin, a former Nashville music executive who was raped in 1992, said her first impulse was not to report the man who broke into her home and raped her in her bed. he next day, Martin collapsed at a business meeting. At the urging of friends, she contacted authorities. Her assailant was convicted and recently was denied parole. “I’ve never regretted reporting it,” she said.