Forbes magazine has crunched the numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime Report to determine which U.S. cities are the most dangerous for women. The methodology “takes into account the per capita rate of “violent crimes including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault in addition to reported incidences of rape in each [U.S.] metro area.”
The ranking has two flaws that Forbes acknowledges: the FBI statistics only count cases of forcible rape, meaning that date rape and statutory rape are excluded, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network estimates that only 54% of sexual assaults are even reported, so this data is just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Saginaw, Michigan
2. Anchorage, Alaska
3. Fairbanks, Alaska
4. Springfield, Illinois
5. Redding, California
6. Flint, Michigan
7. Pine Bluff, Arkansas
8. Lawton, Oklahoma
9. Battle Creek, Michigan
10. Memphis, Tennessee
There are a few surprises here, one of which is the absence of many big city metro areas on the list. Although Detroit has already had a whopping 274 rapes this calendar year, women living in Michigan’s smaller cities are more likely to be crime victims. Forbes also explains that 1 in 3 Native American women will be assualted at some point in their lives, a rate 3.5 times higher than any group’s. This rate correlates with the high crime rate in Alaska, a state whose population is 15% Native American/Alaskan Native.
Whether your city is on this list or not, show me a woman who isn’t concerned about her physical safety — in any city — and I’ll show you a woman with her head in the sand. The sad reality is that violent crime and sexual assault against women happens everywhere, and every city still has a lot of work to do in preventing it.
What do you think of this list? Do any cities that are or are not on the list surprise you?