With the recent publication of Jon Krakauer's “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town,” many are wondering how prevalent rape actually is in Missoula.

Because not all rapes are reported for a variety of different reasons, it is very difficult to know how many actually occur from year to year. What we can know, however, is the number of rapes that do get reported and on that count, Missoula appears to be much better off than it was a decade ago.

According to Deb Matteucci, Executive Director of the Montana Board of Crime Control, since 2003, the highest number of rapes reported came in 2005.

"You will see a higher rate of reporting as people develop a trust relationship in their community with law enforcement and things like that, that being said, 2013 (the last year with full data) was not the highest year for Missoula County," Matteucci said. "The rate has fluctuated from 33 per 100,000 people to 61 per 100,000 [over the ten years between 2003 and 2013] we were at about 41 per 100,000 in 2013."

In general, all violent crime appears to have gone through a decade of decline throughout the state of Montana. Matteucci said that no city or county, including Missoula, appeared to be an outlier in this trend.

"We looked at the ten year data and, thankfully, the trend is going down, Matteucci said. "The index violent crime rate trended downward approximately 27 percent between 2003 and 2013, there was a slight increase in 2011 and 2012, but then that number trended down again in 2013."

According to the Bureau of Crime Statistics, Missoula County doesn't have the highest rape reporting percentage in the state of Montana, and there is more than one other county that have fared worse in this category over the past decade. For a bigger picture, it is possible to see some of the crime data for other years online by viewing the Montana Crime Report.

Below is a chart comparing forcible rape statistics in seven Montana counties since 2013, provided by the Montana Board of Crime Control.

Crime Rate (per 1,000)

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

       Average
Cascade County

0.22

0.21

0.46

0.296667

Yellowstone County

0.31

0.25

0.3

0.4

0.26

0.22

0.28

0.28

0.25

0.283333

Flathead County

0.17

0.17

0.11

0.21

0.26

0.34

0.49

0.25

Gallatin County

0.43

0.48

0.58

0.53

0.38

0.41

0.56

0.5

0.54

0.49

Lewis and Clark County

0.47

0.36

0.56

0.49

0.55

0.67

0.69

0.69

0.56

0.56

Missoula County

0.61

0.6

0.43

0.33

0.46

0.39

0.39

0.38

0.41

0.444444

Ravalli County

0.42

0.43

0.38

0.38

0.45

0.5

0.32

0.2

0.15

0.358889