Sexual Assault in the Early 1900s

Stanford White’s sexual assault of Evelyn Nesbit was an unfortunate, yet defining moment of her youth. The instance would follow her into adulthood, and eventually define the fate of her marriage to Harry Thaw. In order to better understand the demographic of sexual assault during the early 1900s, I constructed two charts using data from 1910.1

The interactive pie chart below displays the percentage of rape occurrences reported in the Mid-Atlantic region during 1910.2The states of New York and Pennsylvania, which are major locations in Evelyn’s life are depicted in the chart.

Evelyn did not publicly address the Stanford White rape until Harry Thaw’s trials. Stanford White, was never tried for rape or sexual assault, although he was notorious for having sexual relationships with young girls.3The chart below depicts the number of rape reports across the nation in comparison to the number of offenders actually committed to prison in 1910.4Less than 1/4 of those accused were brought to justice.

[Professor Note: The graphs on this page were originally interactive, but in archiving them, had to turn them into static images. The charts displayed the raw data numbers on hover.]