An ad hoc panel, sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, will examine conceptual and methodological issues surrounding survey statistics on rape and sexual assault and recommend to the Bureau of Justice Statistics best methods for obtaining such statistics on an ongoing basis. The panel will assess the quality and relevance of statistics on rape and sexual assault from the National Crime Victimization Survey and other surveys contracted for by other federal agencies as well as surveys conducted by private organizations. Issues to be examined include legal definitions in use by the states for these crimes, best methods for representing the definitions in survey instruments so that their meaning is clear to respondents, and best methods for obtaining as complete reporting as possible of these crimes in surveys, including methods whereby respondents may report anonymously. The panel will organize a workshop and commission papers as principal means of gathering information to support its deliberations. The panel will issue a report with its findings and recommendations at the conclusion of a 21-month study. The panel's scope of work will not include surveys in nonhousehold, institutional settings, such as prisons. The start date for this project was July 13, 2011.