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Keywords:

  • Rape;
  • victimization;
  • police notification;
  • victim-offender relationship

We use data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to explore changes in the likelihood of police notification in rape incidents. The findings indicate that during the 1970s and 1980s there was a significant increase in police notification by third parties and by victims raped by non-strangers. During the 1990s the increase in rates of police notification in rape incidents accelerated and broadened in scope. In addition, differences in police notification between stranger and non-stranger incidents diminished during the 1970s and 1980s and, by the early 1990s there was no significant difference.