TAMPA - It's been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and has been Tweeted every ten seconds for days.
A disturbing graphic on the realities of sexual assault is shedding new light on one of the most horrendous crimes one person can commit against another.
The Washington Post called it the 'saddest graph you'll see today.' Out of a thousand hypothetical rapists, the statistical infographic shows how few are ever reported to authorities. Of those, about a quarter face trial. Fewer than half of those are ever ever jailed.
It got an immediate reaction from those dropping into a Tampa Starbucks.
"Very shocking that there are so many that aren't even reported," said Austin Rudd.
"As far as that many being jailed, that's not right. That makes no sense at all," said John Pritchett.
"If we know that 97-percent of perpetrators never spend a day in jail, why would a victim come forward?" said Sylvia Acevedo, director of sexual assault services at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay where an average of 300 victims, or survivors as they prefer to call them, are brought each year for informed trauma care.
Acevedo doesn't vouch for the statistics in the graphic, which are drawn from FBI reports and a Justice Department crime survey, but believes it raises important questions.
"People don't report rape out of fear of retribution, fear of being blamed. This is a crime where victims are made to feel responsible," said Acevedo.
The main intention of the Enliven Project, the advocacy group that created the graphic, was to debunk the notion that false accusations of rape are common. A look at the lower corner shows that only a small percentage of rape accusations are false -- 2% to 8% in most studies.
Already some of the exact figures are being disputed on other websites, but Acevedo believes the graphic is calling attention to an important problem.
"It's certainly helpful that we're at least having this discussion."
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