Why the Spring Break Rape Total in Daytona Beach will Keep Rising


image via momlogic.com

The first official week of Spring Break was a violent one in Daytona Beach, where six rapes were reported in as many days.  Bearing in mind that only a fraction of total rapes are reported to police, the actual number is unknown but no doubt much higher—and we’re only a week into the season.

Of the six reported rapes, all but one involved alcohol and/or drugs. Three of the victims were unconscious when assaulted. Only one person has been arrested so far.  

A volatile set of factors combine in Daytona this time of year (and, of course, not just in Daytona). Take the impulsive and risk-prone tendencies of teens and early twentysomethings, combine with an atmosphere marketed as a massive free-for-all, and add generous amounts of alcohol and drugs—and you have a story that for many isn’t going to end well. 

Daytona isn’t an especially safe city aside from Spring Break, but with the annual pilgrimage it becomes one of the least safe cities in the country. According to cityrating.com, the incidence of rape in Daytona Beach is 3.39 times higher than the national average. The occurrence of all violent crime is 3.09 times higher than the national average.  84 out of every 100,0oo people in Daytona are raped annually. 

The website Neighborhoodscout.com, which ranks how safe cities are around the nation, gives Daytona a 1 out of a possible 100. These statistics aren’t helped by the fact that during Spring Break, the normal population of around 66,000 swells by anywhere between an additional 100,000 – 200,000 people. 

Last year, 41 rapes were reported to Daytona police during Spring Break. If the FBI is correct and only 37% of rapes are reported, then we can assume that more than 120 women were raped during Spring Break at Daytona Beach last year.  All signs indicate that this year is going to be worse, and the victims are getting younger. One of the first six victims was 14 years old.      

The harsh reality is that when thousands of women congregate in a place rife with disinhibition and overflowing with booze, predators follow. Whether they are opportunistic coyotes or calculating wolves doesn’t matter—both kinds of predators are there, both will leave victims in their wake, and most will not be caught.   

With already 30% more Spring Breakers flooding into Daytona this year over last–an increase Daytona police weren’t expecting–the number of victims is unfortunately going to keep rising.  


7 thoughts on “Why the Spring Break Rape Total in Daytona Beach will Keep Rising

  1. I think you meant (?) DISinhibition.

    Nothing excuses rape. But women who drink and drug themselves unconscious after behavinng like porn star skanks aren’t likely to go unscathed, are they?

    • So you’re blaming the women? The punishment for a woman being drunk is rape while the punishment for a man being drunk is a hangover. But you do know that men are also raped by other men there too, right?

      Not all are drunk or on drugs. Many aren’t by choice either.

      Instead of blaming the victims, support them regardless what the circumstances are. A rapist will rape regardless is she’s drunk or not. Are babies, the elderly, and disabled drunk when they’re raped?

    • Ms. Kelly –
      I am the mother of one of the rape victims. She was drugged and unconscious during the rapes. She is a straight A student, rarely drinks and was looking forward to a break from her studies. Your comment is inexcusable and ignorant. Please know that these girls are victims. Comments like your only serve to re-victimize us. I am heartbroken. Thankfully, my daughter doesn’t remember anything. Please educate yourself on the use of these drugs in sexual assaults. It is a world-wide epidemic.

  2. Caitlin – thanks for the typo catch.

    I agree with the first part of your comment, but see no need to qualify it with the second part. Most of the women who are attacked during Spring Break are lucid. One of the women in the first six was dragged, while conscious, into a restroom. But the reality is that sexual predators will take any available opportunity to victimize women. The atmosphere and activities of Spring Break provide predators with opportunities, but the criminal blame rests solely on them, not on those they victimize.

  3. Great article Dave. But, I am profoundly confused – I’m being facetious of course. Numerous rapes during spring break, is this not a reoccurring problem that litters news paper headlines every year. Has it not been going on for several years? And, doesn’t many, if not most of those participating in spring break repeat spring breakers. One would think the young women who make the sober and conscious decision to participate in spring brake are fully aware of what goes on during spring break and what tragedies it normally ends with. Yet the same thoughtless behavior takes place each year, drinking and drugs use.

    Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Or would the saying “Youth is wasted on the young” (Bernard Shaw) be more appropriate for this topic? I daily question the notion that human beings are the most intelligent beings on the planet when we continue to make such mindless self-destructive decisions. The sad thing is I speak from past experiences.

  4. I always wonder how a woman, in this case a True/Slant Contributor, can blame the victim of a rape when she doesn’t have all of the information. I think this is, in part, due to the picture posted with the article.

    It seems as if some of the victims were not acting like porn stars, or even over-drinking. We should all learn from this to keep our speculation out of it. Perhaps the picture was not the best choice as it fueled the speculation?

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