South Dakota ranked 2nd nationwide in reported rape cases - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota ranked 2nd nationwide in reported rape cases

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South Dakota earns bragging rights for our low unemployment and growing economy.

But we also rank high on a list, raising concerns for women's safety.

As you can see by the dark red, we fared the worst in the lower 48 for the number of rapes reported.

According to the FBI, we're the number one state in the lower 48 for rape.

Only Alaska ranks higher.

And we found some very disturbing numbers.

Nationally, there are 27 rapes reported for every 100,000 people.

But here in South Dakota, the number is about 70, close to three times the national average.

And when you look at neighboring states in our area, Nebraska is slightly higher than average at 38, but Minnesota and Iowa are much closer to the national rate.

Behind each of these numbers is a face, a person, maybe someone we know.

So we asked Brendan Johnson, the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota what these numbers mean for our state.

"What is most alarming about this report is we see the number of reported rapes in South Dakota but the fact is a large number of rapes go unreported, and so the number of violent rapes that we have in South Dakota is even higher than what this report would indicate," Johnson said.

"Its very important for people who have been the victim of sexual crimes to understand that they are victims, that they can come forward, that they're not going to be judged, they're going to be treated as survivors and with the respect of the court system," Johnson added.

A look at the flip side of these numbers could have another meaning for some. A rape counselor told us the hope is more victims in South Dakota feel comfortable coming forward to make a report and get the help they need.

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