WASHINGTON (CBS Washington) – Summer weather may have full moons beat for bringing out criminals.

In a recent study from the U.S. Department of Justice, it was found that rapes, sexual assaults and domestic violence cases occur more often during the summer months, Accuweather reports.

More specifically, the study reports that winter rates of rape and sexual assault were approximately 9 percent lower on average than summer rates, while fall rates were about 10 percent lower than the summer’s.

Police Chief Ron Heller of the Logan Township Police Department outside of Altoona, Pennsylvania has his own thoughts on why this may occur.

“Good weather means people are out and about,” he said, “It also means there are more opportunities for crimes. During cold weather, people tend to stay inside.”

The report examined trends and patterns in violent and household property victimization in the U.S. between 1993 and 2010.

And while the report did document that overall victimization rates for sexual crimes fell between those years, it did not change the drastic increase in sexual crimes committed in summer months.

More statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network point towards even larger numbers of sexual assault cases.

For instance, RAINN reports that around 17.7 million American women, or one out of every six, has been the victim of attempted or completed rape.

Additonally, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one out of every four American women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

The study by the U.S. Department of Justice, titled “Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends,” in June 2014.


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