RICHMOND, Va. -- Newly released crime reports gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate that rapes in Chesterfield County outnumber those in Richmond, Henrico and Hanover.
In 2013, there were 43 reported rapes in Richmond, 32 in Henrico, 13 in Hanover and 74 reported in Chesterfield.
Some critics argued the numbers could be high due to Chesterfield's larger population, compared to Richmond or Henrico. Yet, approximations using federal data indicate that, per every 10,000 residents, Chesterfield employs less officers than Richmond (15 per 10,000 versus Richmond's 35).
Chesterfield has an overall better crime rate, other than the high number of rapes, according to the data. Richmond has more officers, less population, and more violent crimes.
“No, that does not surprise me,” said Fatima Smith, Director of Education and Outreach with YWCA.
Smith said her organization typically sees higher rape numbers from Chesterfield and that she and others have been unable to pin down a cause.
In October, the YWCA responded to more assaulted women in Chesterfield than any other place in Central Virginia, she said.
"In Chesterfield we have noticed it tends to have a higher rate of homicide by intimate partner as well,” Smith said.
"It could happen to me, it could happen to a close friend,” Shadiamond Shearin, a Chesterfield resident, said in response to hearing the statistics.
The Chesterfield Police Department was not able to provide a statement or a reason why the numbers outpace those in other places by the time of this deadline.
As for YWCA, Smith said resources are being directed to help reduce the number of rapes and assaults.
Efforts include establishing task forces, interagency cooperation, centralized hotlines, and new education to help prevent these violent episodes.
The new centralized hotline number to call for help if you or a friend have been raped is (804) 612-6126.