NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) -- A shocking report shows the rate of rape cases in Norwich are twice the national average.
However, the numbers shouldn't be taken at face value.
Sex assaults appear to be on the rise in southeastern Connecticut, but the Rose City may have the biggest thorn.
"Should anyone be concerned about being in that city," asked News 8's Tina Detelj.
"No, not at all," said Cathy Zeiner, Women's Center of Southeastern Connecticut.
A study by neighborhoodscout.com rates Norwich as a relatively safe city, but when it comes to rape the 2010 stats of 21 rapes put it at nearly twice the national average in similar sized cities.
"I do think Norwich does a particularly good job of reporting and prosecuting cases," Zeiner said.
Zeiner says it is hard to tell if there are more assaults or just more reporting in Norwich. The police department has been proactive in working with her agency to help victims. She says since the economy has gone down, sex assaults and domestic violence have gone up everywhere.
"Economic stress does lead toward interpersonal violence of all kinds," Zeiner said.
She says a change in the federal definition of rape may mean statistics go even higher. It will be expanded to include the rape of men, which she is also seeing more of along with children.
Linda Lehtomaa was so concerned about assaults she looked up what sex offenders live nearby.
"There's 58 sex offenders in this immediate area," said Lehtomaa.
While there are stranger rapes in Norwich and throughout the county Zeiner says most of the attacks are between people who know each other, people in relationships or other relatives.
"Those actually destroy people's trust," Zeiner said.
A statistic few may argue against.
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