Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Dallas saw 199 rapes in January-June 2013 compared to 177 in January-June 2012.
New crime statistics have Dallas leaders and advocates for victims concerned about the growing number of violent crimes in the city.
Dallas saw 199 reported rapes in the first six months of 2013, compared to 177 reported rapes in the same time frame last year.
“It’s something that is happening, happening every day,” said Haleh Cochran, a victim’s advocate for the Turning Point Rape Crisis Center.
Cochran said she is seeing the increase of sex assaults firsthand as many of the victims she works with are in the Dallas area.
“The week before [last] we had one almost every single day of the week, where we were going to the hospital speaking to victims after assaults took place,” she said.
Cochran thinks public awareness may be behind the rise in reported rapes, with more victims stepping forward.
“The more it’s in the news, the more people are comfortable reporting when something happens to them,” she said.
While murders overall are down for 2013, there have been month-to-month increases. Murders rose noticeably in Feb. with a 37.5 percent increase that month.
Karen Cox Smith was one of the first victims of a 2013 murder. Smith’s estranged husband confessed to murdering her in a UT Southwestern parking garage in January. Since then, the city has been working to curb domestic abuse.
Smith’s brother, Casey Cox, has been active with the city’s effort to curb domestic abuse. He spoke at a vigil for victims in Jan., encouraging women to step forward.
“You, too, can have the courage to change your life, before it’s too late,” said Casey Cox on Jan. 23.
Dallas Police Department representitives are expected to be on hand when city leaders review the numbers on Monday.