Sticking my foot in here for some details.
There's a LOT of things that are sexual abuse that don't quite come to the level of "rape" that still happen, and what they are, and how they're treated by the country that they're in, vary greatly from country to country. To complicate matters even further, it's a good idea to realize that not every country's police give full and complete information on what's actually happening in their countries, so some countries - including many that are considered "first-world" countries - seem to be safer by publicly-searchable data than they actually are. The US seems terrible - see the previous post of the US being the #10 worst country for rape - until you realize how many countries simply don't give good, accurate data on crime (all crime, not just rape!) for many reasons. Per Wikipedia
In many parts of the world, rape is very rarely reported, due to the extreme social stigma cast on women who have been raped, or the fear of being disowned by their families, or subjected to violence, including honor killings. Furthermore, in countries where adultery and/or premarital sex are illegal, victims of rape can face prosecution under these laws, if there is not sufficient evidence to prove a rape in the court. Even if they can prove their rape case, evidence during investigation may surface showing that they were not virgins at the time of the rape, which, if they are unmarried, opens the door for prosecution.
As one example, Japan supposedly
is safer than the US, according to officially-released data. But despite that, it's fairly well-known that there's a distinct problem with people who fondle and molest female passengers on commuter trains. This isn't something new; the LA Times had an article about it 20 years ago.
Part of the problem then
was that women didn't report to the police, because the ones that did were treated like shit by
the police. Many police officers denied that such a thing was possible; the ones who acknowledged that it happened often blamed the victims. That, thankfully, has been dropping considerably over the past two decades, as it's become an acknowledged problem. It still happens, but it's nowhere near as much of a problem as it was then.
Then there are other countries that are MUCH
worse. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, China, and other countries where women aren't treated as equals by a long shot. If you accept their reported data, these countries are much safer
than the US, but this is flatly wrong - they just don't report most of what we
consider to be rape to be
the crime of rape at all. There was a case last year
* of an Austrian student visiting Dubai who was raped at a club. When she reported the attack, she was jailed and treated as a criminal for having sex out of wedlock. They didn't care at all
that she didn't choose to have sex with the man, and were ready to force her to marry her rapist
as an alternative to being charged with the above-mentioned crime. Thankfully, her country worked to get her out of the UAE, rather than continue to deal with their fucked-up laws.
And as bad as that is, there are places in the world where it's even worse
. Don't click this next link
if you're at all squeamish. I'm not going to summarize it, other than to say that it's a horribly inhuman state of affairs.
Compared to that, the US is looking pretty damned good these days... =>_>= Which is not to say that there's no rape, but that there's some scary shit
out there in other parts of the world, and the US crime rate for rape, like for other violent crime, has been dropping steadily for the past 30 years. We hit a peak in 1979, and the rate has been dropping fairly steadily since then. I was a child when the Hillside Strangler
case made national news (and I lived less than 10 miles from where those rapes/murders took place). There were other serial rapists in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's, but we don't really hear about serial rapists so much these days, despite news being more fervently following any sensationalistic news that pops up. They just don't happen as much as they did back then. These days, date rape and "predator drugs" are more of a concern than the kind of sociopathic rapist/murderers from years past. Sociopaths these days are sticking more to corporations and politics...
I guess what I'm saying is... yes, rape is still very much a concern. But women's rights have reduced some of the problem - women-as-victims is being taken far more seriously than it was even two generations ago, and men are being tried as rapists far more aggressively than they were back then. As a result, predatory men are less eager to force women into doing things that they don't want to do. And, as I said before, rape in the US has been dropping like a rock since the 70's. It peaked at 2.6 per 1000 in 1979, and is now hovering around .4 per 1000 in recent years.
And, of course, the most maddening thing about rape is... that far too much of it (more than half, by current estimates) goes unreported, because most rapes are by someone the victim knows. Whether it's a wife being forced to have sex by their husband, or a girlfriend not being able to stop her boyfriend because she's too drunk, or many
other reasons, far too many rapes go unreported and held as a private woe of the victims.
There's more to talk about, but I think I've said my piece for now.
* Warning for that second link: Their site lags the hell out of my system. Not sure what's going on there, but it brought my Firefox to its knees.