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Sexual Assault Awareness: Statistics and Facts- Editorial

By HERWriter
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sexual assault Photo: Getty Images

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.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Thanks for speaking out on this topic. I was raped by a boss who wouldn't take no for an answer. That was not the first - or last - time I was sexually harassed, that was just the worst case scenario. I had 3 (highly publicized) sexual harassment lawsuits, which led me to go on to write a book about sexual harassment awareness and prevention: http://www.booklocker.com/books/4397.html. I've given seminars based on the information in my book. I've done a couple of radio interviews on it, and have one coming up on the 28th of April on http://www.unspokenissues.com. PLEASE speak out. Learn your rights and the law. Knowledge IS power.

April 20, 2011 - 5:33pm
HERWriter (reply to NHParry)

Dear NHParry,

Thank you very much for your comment and for sharing your own story. It is brave women like you that give others hope in their times of desperation. Keep talking/writing/speaking about your experience - for your own health and others'!

Very best,

April 20, 2011 - 6:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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