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Key statistics about sexual assault claims

It's important to understand how sexual assault claims come about and what key factors may be involved. Below are a few important statistics that those in Colorado should be aware of, especially when the alleged assault occurred on a college campus.

1. Some claims are false. Studies have found that about 2 out of every 100 claims of sexual assault turn out to be made-up allegations. The reasons for this vary.

2. Other violent crimes are inaccurately and falsely reported at roughly this same rate.

3. Many allegations come after two people who know each other have been drinking alcohol. In fact, some studies show that a full 90 percent of rape claims between acquaintances can be linked to alcohol use.

4. Alcohol use is also common even in cases where the two people did not know each other, as reports suggest it can be linked to about 50 percent of all sexual assault cases that happen at college.

5. Furthermore, alcohol use can be broken down into two groups: Use by the alleged perpetrator (69 percent of cases) and use by the alleged victim (43 percent of cases).

6. Claims of attempted rape are made, in about a third of all cases (35 percent), by people who were dating. This does not necessarily mean they were a couple, but they were at least out on a date at the time.

Though much of this information is geared around college students, it's important for anyone to know about these trends. Those who have been accused also need to know their legal defense options, and they must remember that they have the right to a fair trial.

Source: Campus Safety Magazine, "Sexual Assault Statistics," Robin Hattersley Gray, accessed Dec. 16, 2016

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