Is rape a problem in Santa Cruz?

Since 1993, incidents of rape and sexual assault have dropped more than 50% in the United States, probably due to increased education and awareness.1  However, the number of rapes reported in Santa Cruz has risen during the past 20 years, according to a report published by the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. 

The Santa Cruz Sentinel noted: “the number of reported rapes in the city peaked at 59 in 2004, the last year reported. There were 30 reported rapes in 1984 and 20 in 1994. According to the report, Santa Cruz in 2004 had more reported rapes than Berkeley and Monterey, which had 17 and 15 each, but fewer than San Jose and Salinas.  The commission and police believe the number of rapes increased because victims are reporting more cases due to education and outreach efforts, as well as new electronic reporting methods police started in 1999.” 


  1. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, "Statistics." Retrieved August 2007 from
  2. Santa Cruz Sentinel, "City of Santa Cruz works to increase rape awareness," April 26, 2006. Retrieved August 2007 from