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As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, my previous article provided one interpretation of definitions for sexual assault and domestic violence. With this very minimal introduction, I hoped to frame some of the statistics below. While you are reading these facts, please keep in mind that I only look at violence against women, though men and transgender individuals are often victims as well. Additionally, while I only chose sources of information I believed to be accurate and up-to-date, because sexual violence is so rarely reported (1 out of 5 of victims report instances of sexual assault to the police), the numbers are only representative of a small portion of all violence.
Who are Victims?
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
- 73 percent of female victims were assaulted by someone they knew and 28 percent of these assaults were committed by the woman’s intimate partner (Catalano, 2005).
- Women aged 16-19 years old had the highest rate of sexual victimization of any age group (Catalano, 2005).
- Women often experience domestic violence for the first time during a pregnancy.
- Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults, promoting a dangerous generational cycle of violence that is very difficult to break (Strauss).
Instance of Violence
- According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey -- the country's largest and most reliable crime study -- there were 248,300 sexual assaults in 2007.
- This means that roughly every 2 minutes, (127 seconds) a woman is sexually assaulted in the U.S.
- One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime (CDC, 2000).
Effects of Violence
- Physical: Pain, vomiting, nausea, sexual dysfunction, headaches, injuries, sexually transmitted infections, death, etc.