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The narrative of Chicago’s crime is a tale of two cities – one safe, one violent. For proof, look no further than the number of reported sexual assaults across Chicago’s 77 community areas.

But sexual assaults aren’t like other violent crimes. Before diving headfirst into the numbers, we should discuss a few things.

For a view of the city from the eyes of sexual assault advocates and the Chicago Police Department, read this article. It should significantly help inform you about the nuances of sexual assault within the Chicago criminal justice system, and add some valuable context.

Also, understand that the numbers discussed within this article are reported sexual assaults. This does not have any bearing on the actual number of sexual assaults that have occurred in Chicago, since a significant amount of evidence from a number of sources, including the National Research Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that the majority of sexual assaults go unreported (though it’s easy to argue no study has captured the true scale of sexual assault in America).

Even when you’re only looking at reported assaults, it’s historically been difficult to determine how many sexual assaults have taken place in Chicago. This is partially due to the state of Illinois’ definition of sexual assault, which strays from the FBI’s definition of rape. Because of these differences, the Chicago Police Department has rarely reported rape data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Looking at the 2014 Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, it appears Chicago has finally started supplying eligible rape data to the FBI.

I did not use the state’s definition of sexual assault for this article. Mostly using the Chicago Data Portal, I relied on data using the FBI’s updated definition of rape: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Finally, I feel it’s important to understand that many misconceptions surround rape. Rapists are less often dark figures jumping out of alleyways, and more often acquaintances of the victims. Rape doesn’t require extreme violence to constitute rape, but can be committed by using any number of physical, manipulative or coercive actions that put consent in question. And there is no “typical victim,” victims can identify as any race, gender and sexuality (though some communities definitely face higher rates of sexual assault, which I’ll talk about in more detail in a followup article). For a fuller understanding of rape and an idea of some of the resources offered to survivors in Chicago, check out Rape Victim Advocates and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.

Ultimately, the numbers below need to be taken with a grain of salt. While they can bring into clarity the disproportionate crime rates across Chicago’s neighborhoods, they also have potential to lead to harmful conclusions if used thoughtlessly.

The Neighborhoods with the Most Sexual Assaults

In regards to city-wide numbers, Chicago has seen some progress over the last 10 years when it comes to sexual assault. Chicago as a whole saw about 30 percent fewer reported sexual assaults in 2014 than it did in 2004. What hasn’t changed are the neighborhoods with the most sexual assaults. After 10 years, the same neighborhoods continue to see more sexual assaults than the rest of the city.

Out of the 10 neighborhoods with the most sexual assaults, nine neighborhoods were present for both 2013 and 2014: Austin, South Shore, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Near North Side, Roseland and Auburn Gresham.

West Englewood was among the 10 community areas with the most sexual assaults in 2014, and South Chicago was present in 2013.

Go back a decade, and you find little change. Austin, South Shore, Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Roseland, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale were all among the neighborhoods with the most reported sexual assaults in Chicago in both 2014 and 2004. Also present in 2004 was Greater Grand Crossing, West Englewood and Chatham.

Of course, population can vary greatly from community area to community area. One would expect an area with a large population to also have a higher number of a total crime. How do we reconcile the population of, say, Austin, which has more people than any other community area, with its high crime numbers?

When you look at the rate of sexual assaults per 100,000 people, things do change some. Austin, for example, disappears from the list of the 10 neighborhoods with the most sexual assaults. While Austin is number one for total sexual assaults in 2014, the neighborhood is number 25 when it comes to the rate of sexual assault per 100,000 people. With that said, its rate is 92.37, which is still nearly double the city-wide rate of 49.04, and nearly triple Lake View’s rate of 32.85 (according to the 2010 census, Austin has 98,514 people, Lake View has 94,368).

Englewood found itself with both a high rate and high total. With a population of 30,654 and 47 sexual assaults in 2014, its rate comes out to about 153.32 for 2014.

Of course, going by the rate of a crime has its quirks, too. While a total isn’t representative of a population, a rate can potentially be misleading if a population is extremely small.

Fuller Park has the biggest sexual assault rate in 2014. Sounds bad, right? Well, though its rate was 173.85 in 2014 – higher than Englewood’s rate – it only had a total of 5 sexual assaults, much lower than Englewood’s total of 47. This is because Fuller Park only has 2,876 people, causing small changes in crime totals to heavily impact its crime rates. With one sexual assault occurring in 2013 in Fuller Park, its 2013 rate was just 34.77.

While sexual assaults follow the same neighborhood trends as homicides and aggravated assaults, the differences aren’t quite as sharp — even some neighborhoods considered to be non-violent can see higher numbers.

Near North Side, the community area where the Cabrini-Green housing project once was, has seen sharp drops in violent crime in recent years. Despite its far lower homicides and aggravated assaults, the community area, which is home to the Gold Coast and River North neighborhoods, has had a larger-than-average number of sexual assaults the past couple of years, with 42 in 2014 and 45 in 2013.

Lake View, which hasn’t had a homicide since 2012, had 31 sexual assaults in 2014, making it number 12 in the list of neighborhoods with the most reported sexual assaults in Chicago.

But even with these exceptions, a handful of Chicago neighborhoods continue to see a disproportionately large amount of violence when compared to the rest of the city. With the status quo seeing little change the last ten years, its easy to wonder what the city is and isn’t doing to make safety more equitable across Chicago, and whether its time for a change in tactics.

Mason Johnson is a Web Content Producer for CBS Chicago. You can find him on Twitter.

Map: 2014 Sexual Assaults Plotted Across Chicago

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Sexual Assaults by Community Area 2013 & 2014

Austin 91 (2014), 70 (2013)
South Shore 51 (2014), 44 (2013)
Chicago Lawn 47 (2014), 44 (2013)
Englewood 47 (2014), 51 (2013)
Humboldt Park 44 (2014), 45 (2013)
West Englewood 44 (2014), 34 (2013)
North Lawndale 43 (2014), 47 (2013)
Near North Side 42 (2014), 45 (2013)
Roseland 37 (2014), 45 (2013)
Auburn Gresham 35 (2014), 58 (2013)
Near West Side 32 (2014), 34 (2013)
Lake View 31 (2014), 22 (2013)
Chatham 30 (2014), 31 (2013)
South Chicago 30 (2014), 38 (2013)
Rogers Park 29 (2014), 19 (2013)
West Town 29 (2014), 28 (2013)
Greater Grand Crossing 29 (2014), 36 (2013)
East Garfield Park 28 (2014), 23 (2013)
South Lawndale 27 (2014), 35 (2013)
Uptown 26 (2014), 22 (2013)
West Garfield Park 26 (2014), 19 (2013)
Logan Square 25 (2014), 26 (2013)
West Pullman 24 (2014), 21 (2013)
New City 24 (2014), 30 (2013)
Belmont Cragin 23 (2014), 28 (2013)
Loop 20 (2014), 17 (2013)
Woodlawn 20 (2014), 23 (2013)
Washington Heights 17 (2014), 27 (2013)
Lincoln Park 16 (2014), 13 (2013)
West Ridge 15 (2014), 10 (2013)
Washington Park 15 (2014), 17 (2013)
Edgewater 15 (2014), 10 (2013)
Portage Park 14 (2014), 9 (2013)
Irving Park 14 (2014), 12 (2013)
Avondale 14 (2014), 10 (2013)
Ashburn 14 (2014), 12 (2013)
Albany Park 13 (2014), 11 (2013)
Douglas 13 (2014), 16 (2013)
Grand Boulevard 13 (2014), 15 (2013)
Avalon Park 13 (2014), 8 (2013)
Lower West Side 12 (2014), 9 (2013)
Garfield Ridge 12 (2014), 5 (2013)
Brighton Park 12 (2014), 6 (2013)
Hermosa 11 (2014), 15 (2013)
South Deering 10 (2014), 9 (2013)
Lincoln Square 9 (2014), 7 (2013)
Morgan Park 9 (2014), 13 (2013)
North Center 8 (2014), 5 (2013)
Near South Side 8 (2014), 7 (2013)
Hyde Park 8 (2014), 12 (2013)
Gage Park 8 (2014), 15 (2013)
Calumet Heights 7 (2014), 11 (2013)
Archer Heights 7 (2014), 3 (2013)
Armour Square 6 (2014), 3 (2013)
Pullman 6 (2014), 6 (2013)
East Side 6 (2014), 10 (2013)
Riverdale 6 (2014), 8 (2013)
West Lawn 6 (2014), 11 (2013)
Dunning 5 (2014), 5 (2013)
Fuller Park 5 (2014), 1 (2013)
Norwood Park 4 (2014), 6 (2013)
North Park 4 (2014), 5 (2013)
Kenwood 4 (2014), 5 (2013)
Bridgeport 4 (2014), 8 (2013)
O’Hare Area 4 (2014), 1 (2013)
Montclare 3 (2014), 3 (2013)
Oakland 3 (2014), 3 (2013)
West Elsdon 3 (2014), 2 (2013)
Beverly 3 (2014), 2 (2013)
Hegewisch 2 (2014), 3 (2013)
McKinley Park 2 (2014), 6 (2013)
Clearing 2 (2014), 6 (2013)
Jefferson Park 1 (2014), 1 (2013)
Forest Glen 1 (2014), 0 (2013)
Burnside 1 (2014), 2 (2013)
Edison Park 0 (2014), 0 (2013)
Mount Greenwood 0 (2014), 3 (2013)