Sexually Violent List Upsets Cities | Westword

"Horribly Irresponsible" List of 24 Most Sexually Violent Cities, 4 in Colorado has published a list ranking what it describes as the "24 most sexually violent cities in America," based on the number of rapes reported in each one. A stunning four communities in Colorado are listed, including one in the top five — but many of the country's larges cities, including...
Share this: has published a list ranking what it describes as the "24 most sexually violent cities in America," based on the number of rapes reported in each one. A stunning four communities in Colorado are listed, including one in the top five — but many of the country's larges cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, didn't make the cut.

Two of the Colorado cities have already attacked the list, with one spokesperson branding the entire enterprise "horribly irresponsible." We've included the two statements below, following photo-illustrated picks and data.

Number 1: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reported rapes: 1,279

Number 2: Indianapolis, Indiana

Reported rapes: 656

Number 3: Detroit, Michigan
Reported rapes: 618

Number 4: Fort Worth, Texas
Reported rapes: 523

Number 5: Denver, Colorado
Reported rapes: 514

Number 6 (tie): Memphis, Tennesee
Reported rapes: 437

Number 6 (tie): Nashville, Tennessee
Reported rapes: 437

Number 8: Cleveland, Ohio Reported rapes: 417

Number 9: Anchorage, Alaska
Reported rapes: 408

Number 10: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reported rapes: 401

Number 11: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reported rapes: 385

Number 12: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Reported rapes: 370

Number 13: St. Louis, Missouri

Reported rapes: 333

Number 14: Springfield, Missouri
Reported rapes: 281

Number 15: Wichita, Kansas
Reported rapes: 244

Number 16: Aurora, Colorado
Reported rapes: 224

Number 17: St. Paul, Minnesota
Reported rapes: 218

Number 18:Salt Lake City, Utah
Reported rapes: 214

Number 19: Amarillo, Texas
Reported rapes: 204

Number 20: Cincinnati, Ohio
Reported rapes: 198

Number 21: Birmingham, Alabama
Reported rapes: 178

Number 22: Pueblo, Colorado
Reported rapes: 165

Number 23: Akron, Ohio
Reported rapes: 160

Number 24: Seattle, Washington
Reported rapes: 153

Response from the Denver District Attorney's Office:

Dear Hayley Matthews, I am writing on behalf of the Denver District Attorney, who prosecutes sexual assaults in the City and County of Denver. While the DA's Office appreciates a watchful eye on crime statistics and thoughtful analysis of the results, your so-called "analysis" of FBI numbers that resulted in your recent article, "24 Most Sexually Violent Cities in America," is horribly irresponsible. How dare you list what you call the most sexually violent cities in the United States, when you excluded approximately 11 states, and numerous counties in an additional 13 states from your analysis.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but it is my understanding that you took into account total known reported cases of rape as defined under the UCR's revised definition and that certain states like California do not use the revised definition and would have been excluded from your analysis. Many states and counties throughout the United States did not use the revised definition of rape to report their statistics in 2013, so it appears that all cities located in Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada , New Jersey, New Mexico, New York , North Carolina and Wyoming along with their major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore, Las Vegas and New York City, among others, were simply excluded.

Does anyone really believe there are more rape arrests in Pueblo, Colorado than in New York City, Los Angeles or Miami?

Your analysis (which has other serious flaws) and the resulting article does a great disservice to all of those in law enforcement as well as our community resource partners who work with victims of sexual assault on a daily basis. It appears it was nothing more than a publicity stunt by your dating website. And it unfortunately worked, as mainstream media neglected to do their due diligence and see for themselves that there was no real analysis or substance behind your catchy headline.

Lynn Kimbrough

Communications Director

Denver DA's Office

Response from the Pueblo Police Department:

In response to the recent report listing the 24 most Sexually Violent Small Cities in America, dated February 9, 2015, we have prepared the following information.

The report listed Pueblo, Colorado as the 22nd city with a reported 165 rapes in 2013. The 2013 number of 165 is accurate. However, the website uses the 2013 numbers because the FBI has only published preliminary January-June 2014 UCR report. A completed finalized report for 2014 is not expected until later this year. It should be known that the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking on the basis of crime data alone.

Statistics provided to us by our crime analyst, in accordance with the preliminary 2014 FBI UCR report, show the number of rapes in Pueblo (using the revised definition per FBI guidelines) is down from 88 Jan-June 2013 to 52 for Jan-June 2014.

This represents a decrease of -41%. In addition, sexual assaults were down -13% for 2013 vs. 2012 (165 in 2013 vs. 183 in 2012). These accurate numbers show that the City of Pueblo has been on a two year decline for sexual assaults.

To continue with the decline in rapes, the Pueblo Police Department would like to remind everyone that most sexual assault victims are assaulted by someone they know. There are many rapes that happen that go un-reported for numerous reasons. If you or someone you know is a victim of rape, there are resources available to assist you such as Pueblo Rape Crisis located at 503 N. Main Street # 526. They can be reached by phone at (719) 544-1191. You may also call their 24 hour hotline at (719) 544-0549.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.