No. 3 — Rape reforms continue; definition changed

<a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-07-08/news/bs-md-ci-sex-offense-changes-20110630_1_offense-unit-crimes-offense-investigations">Reports of rape in Baltimore soared in 2011,</a> but it wasn't because of a rash of incidents. Rather, police were implementing a series of reforms after a Sun investigation revealed in late 2010 that the city was discarded women's claims of rape at the highest rate in the country.<br>
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The Police Department made numerous changes in response to the report &mdash; including changing personnel, retraining officers, and changing oversight mechanisms &mdash; that started to bear fruit in 2011.<br>
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The city also launched a <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-10-05/news/bs-md-ci-city-outreach-campaign-20111005_1_sexual-assault-response-team-patrol-officers-victims">public awareness campaign</a> aimed at educating people about the facts of rape and encouraging victims to come forward. National advocates, who revived a <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-10-18/news/bs-md-ci-fbi-rape-subcommittee-20111018_1_definition-fbi-by-local-police-carol-e-tracy">push to update the federal definition of rape</a> in part because of The Sun's reporting in Baltimore, saw their efforts pay off as well: <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORGOV000008" title="FBI" href="/topic/crime-law-justice/fbi-ORGOV000008.topic">FBI</a> Director Robert Mueller has said he will next year approve a revision that broadens the definition and which police say will lead to more accurate statistics.

( Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston / November 18, 2009 )

Reports of rape in Baltimore soared in 2011, but it wasn't because of a rash of incidents. Rather, police were implementing a series of reforms after a Sun investigation revealed in late 2010 that the city was discarded women's claims of rape at the highest rate in the country.

The Police Department made numerous changes in response to the report — including changing personnel, retraining officers, and changing oversight mechanisms — that started to bear fruit in 2011.

The city also launched a public awareness campaign aimed at educating people about the facts of rape and encouraging victims to come forward. National advocates, who revived a push to update the federal definition of rape in part because of The Sun's reporting in Baltimore, saw their efforts pay off as well: FBI Director Robert Mueller has said he will next year approve a revision that broadens the definition and which police say will lead to more accurate statistics.

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