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Statistics

About Statistics and Research

NSVRC does not conduct research, but we share research from a variety of sources including government entities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). We also share research studies conducted by reputable researchers and institutions throughout the country.

Measuring the scope, impact, and prevalence of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse can be difficult. No single source of data provides a full picture. We rely on the two largest national data collections that gather information on sexual violence, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study (NISVS) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

These large data collections are complemented by smaller-scale studies conducted by researchers affiliated with institutions throughout the country. They can offer additional insight and information on the scope of sexual assault. The past decade of research in particular has shown the numerous contexts and impacts that sexual assault, harassment, and abuse play in the lives of individuals and communities.

Research provides the opportunities to better understand the experiences of victims. Ultimately data can help inform successful prevention strategies based on the lived experiences of individuals and communities.

Keep in mind when comparing studies that data — such as prevalence rates — published in one study may not immediately appear to correspond to rates found in a different study. This alone doesn’t mean either study is wrong. At the beginning of every study, researchers make decisions around several key issues that will affect the ultimate results of their study. These often include:

  • Definitions of terms such as “sexual assault,” “rape,” “sexual violence,” “sexual harassment,” etc. What behaviors are included in these terms?
  • How they ask the questions. Were study participants asked about behaviors, i.e. “Has someone ever forced them to have sex with them?” Or did they ask if someone has ever experienced “rape” in their lifetime?
  • The time period they are examining. For example, is the study looking at sexual violence experienced in the person’s lifetime or during the past year?
  • How they found people to participate in the study. Was it a true random study where every individual has the same chance of participating? Or was it an easily accessible group of people who may not reflect a larger population? Who was excluded?

Decisions on what gets recorded, who gets asked, how they are asked, etc. all impact the final outcomes of any study. Attempting to compare studies that use different definitions and behaviors, population samples, and other distinctions could provide inaccurate conclusions or judgements.

To learn more about how rape statistics are generated and how to apply statistics to your work, see the online learning tool Understanding National Rape Statistics and the overview of National Research on Sexual Violence: A Look to the Future.

About Primary Sources

The primary sources we rely on for data on sexual violence victimization are:

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey is the primary source NSVRC relies on for sexual victimization information. NISVS was launched in 2010 by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). NISVS is an ongoing nationally representative survey that collects data on adult men and women at the national and state level. The goals of NISVS are to collect detailed information about sexual violence, physical violence by an intimate partner, and stalking. The initial, and largest, collection of NISVS data took place in 2010. From this data collection, additional analyses on specific population groups were released in subsequent years.

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is based on data gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice. This is also a national, randomly chosen survey of households. Respondents are asked about the number and characteristics of all crimes they have experienced during the past six months. This includes rape and sexual assault, robbery, assault, domestic violence, crime involving injuries, and others.

NISVS 2010 Summary Report - Sexual Violence by any Perpetrator

  • “Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.
  • More than half (51.1%) of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance; for male victims, more than half (52.4%) reported being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger.
  • Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else during their lifetime; most men who were made to penetrate someone else reported that the perpetrator was either an intimate partner (44.8%) or an acquaintance (44.7%).
  • An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e., unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way); and 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact.
  • Most female victims of completed rape (79.6%) experienced their first rape before the age of 25; 42.2% experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
  • More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.”
SOURCE

Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 summary report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

NISVS 2015 Data Brief - Sexual Violence by any Perpetrator

  • “Approximately 1 in 5 (21.3% or an estimated 25.5 million) women in the U.S. reported completed or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration. About 2.6% of U.S. men (an estimated 2.8 million) experienced completed or attempted rape victimization in their lifetime.
  • About 1 in 14 men (7.1% or nearly 7.9 million) in the U.S. was made to penetrate someone else (attempted or completed) at some point in their lifetime.
  • Approximately 1 in 6 women (16.1% or an estimated 19.2 million women) and approximately 1 in 10 men (9.6% or an estimated 10.6 million men) experienced sexual coercion (e.g., being worn down by someone who repeatedly asked for sex, sexual pressure due to someone using their influence or authority) at some point in their lifetime.
  • A majority of female victims of completed or attempted rape first experienced such victimization early in life, with 81.3% (nearly 20.8 million victims) reporting that it first occurred prior to age 25.
  • The majority of male victims (70.8% or an estimated 2.0 million) of completed or attempted rape reported that their first experience occurred prior to age 25.”(Smith et al., 2018, p. 2)
SOURCE

Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 data brief – updated release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2015data-brief508.pdf

NCVS 2018

  • Thirty-seven (37%) of the total violent victimization experienced was identified as rape, sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault.
  • The self-reported incidence of rape or sexual assault more than doubled from 1.4 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2017 to 2.7 in 2018.
  • Based on data from the survey, it is estimated that 734,630 people were raped (threatened, attempted, or completed) in the United States in 2018.
  • Despite the increase in self-reports of rape and sexual assault, there was a decrease in reporting to police from 2017 to 2018. Forty-percent (40%) of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police in 2017, but only about 25% were reported to police in 2018.
SOURCE

Morgan, R., & Oudekerk, B. (2019). Criminal victimization, 2018 (NCJ 253043). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv18.pdf

Additional Statistics

About Additional Statistics

All statistics that follow are adjoined with the complete citation of where the study was published/found. Questions regarding methodology, findings, and other interests or concerns should be directed to the author(s) of the study. For additional research that may be available on particular areas of interest, email NSVRClibrary@nsvrc.org.

Financial Burden of Sexual Violence
  • The estimated lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 per victim, or a population economic burden of nearly $3.1 trillion (2014 U.S. dollars) over victims’ lifetimes. (Based on data indicating more than 25 million U.S. adults have been raped.)
  • This study, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimated:
    • $1.2 trillion (39% of total) in medical costs;
    • $1.6 trillion (52%) in lost work productivity among victims and perpetrators;
    • $234 billion (8%) in criminal justice activities; and
    • $36 billion (1%) in other costs, including victim property loss or damage.
  • Government sources pay an estimated $1 trillion (32%) of the lifetime economic burden.

SOURCE: Peterson, C., DeGue, S., Florence, C., & Lokey, C. N. (2017). Lifetime economic burden of rape among U.S. adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(6), 691–701. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2016.11.014


  • A 2017 study of privately insured women found:
    • Out of a sample of 1,355 female sexual assault victims ages 16-61 who received treatment at a hospital, 88% of victims incurred charges.
    • Patients who were admitted into the hospital paid an average of $788 for their inpatient stay.
    • Patients who were not admitted paid an average of $316 for total outpatient costs.
    • The study also found that "in 2013, insurance providers and victims, collectively, paid $9,129,284 for medical services received because of the rape.
    • The average rape cost was $6,737, of which 86%, or $5,789, was paid by the insurance provider and 14%, or $948, was paid by the victim."

SOURCE: Tennessee, A. M., Bradham, T. S., White, B. M., & Simpson, K. N. (2017). The monetary cost of sexual assault to privately insured U.S. women in 2013. American Journal of Public Health, 107(6), 983–988. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303742

Repeated Sexual Victimization
  • A meta-analysis (an analysis of multiple studies on a topic to look for findings that are consistent or varied) examined 80 different studies’ prevalence rates on revictimization (repeated experiences of sexual violence).
  • The correlation between childhood sexual abuse and adult victimization is well documented, although this study suggests that the prevalence rates suggested by individual studies ranges from 10-90%.
  • This analysis included both male and female victims and found an average prevalence rate for sexual revictimization to be almost half (47.9%) of all victims included through these studies.

SOURCE: Walker, H. E., Freud, J. S., Ellis, R. A., Fraine, S. M., & Wilson, L. C. (2017). The prevalence of sexual revictimization: A meta-analytic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 20(1), 67–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838017692364


Other studies on revictimization include:

  • According to a data analysis from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), during 2005-2014, 15.8% of rape or sexual assault victims experienced two or more rape/sexual assault victimizations.

SOURCE: Oudekerk, B. A., & Truman, J. L. (2017). Repeat violent victimization, 2005–14 (NCJ 250567). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rvv0514.pdf


  • A study of 1,863 women from Chicago found that 49% of female survivors experienced some form of revictimization over the course of two years. Unwanted sexual contact was the most common form of revictimization followed by coercion, attempted or completed forcible assault, and attempted or completed substance-involved assault. White women were revictimized at lower rates than other races (39%); 55% of Black women, and 52% of other women were revictimized.

SOURCE: Relyea, M., & Ullman, S. E. (2017). Predicting sexual assault revictimization in a longitudinal sample of women survivors: Variation by type of assault. Violence Against Women, 23(12), 1462–1483. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801216661035


  • Out of a sample of 311 men ages 21–30, 43.4% of respondents reported experiencing sexual assault since age 14. More than 80% of male victims reported experiencing more than one sexual assault act.

SOURCE: Wegner, R., & Davis, K. C. (2017). How men's sexual assault victimization experiences differ based on their sexual history. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260517703374

Sexual Harassment
  • More than 1 in 3 men (34%) have experienced verbal sexual harassment. The most common form of verbal sexual harassment for all men was being purposely misgendered or called a homophobic or transphobic slur.

SOURCE: Kearl, H. (2018). The facts behind the #metoo movement: A national study on sexual harassment and assault. Stop Street Harassment. http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Full-Report-2018-National-Study-on-Sexual-Harassment-and-Assault.pdf


  • About one in four men (22%) experienced cyber sexual harassment

SOURCE: Kearl, H. (2018). The facts behind the #metoo movement: A national study on sexual harassment and assault. Stop Street Harassment. http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Full-Report-2018-National-Study-on-Sexual-Harassment-and-Assault.pdf

Sexual Victimization of Children and Youth
  • According to NISVS, sexual violence is common in youth. Most female victims of rape (79.6 percent) experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half (42.2 percent) experienced their first rape before age 18.

SOURCE: Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 summary report: Executive summary. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS_Executive_Summary-a.pdf


  • Both female and male youth are exposed to early sexual victimization. The 2015 NISVS data found:
    • 11 million or 43.2% of females reported their first completed or attempted rape occurred prior to age 18.
    • For men, 51.3% or 1.5 million men first experienced completed or attempted rape prior to age 18

SOURCE: Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey : 2015 data brief – updated release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2015data-brief508.pdf


  • Being raped or made to penetrate during youth increases the likelihood of re-victimization in adulthood.
  • An estimated 36% of female victims of rape (completed or attempted) during youth were also raped as adults and almost half (45%) of male youth victims made to penetrate (completed or attempted) were also made to penetrate as adults.

SOURCE: Merrick, M. T., Basile, K. C., Zhang, X., Smith, S. G., & Kresnow, M. (2018). Characterizing sexual violence victimization in youth: 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(4), 596–599. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.01.014


CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors health-related behaviors among youth and includes administering the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) a nationally representative survey of high school students conducted every other year to measure health-risk behaviors including sexual violence. The YRBSS is considered the principal source of data for tracking health-risk behaviors among high schoolers in both public and private high schools across the nation. During 2017, survey results showed:

  • Nationwide, 7.4% of youth had been physically forced to have sexual intercourse in their lifetime. The prevalence rate for females was 11.3% and 3.5% for males. Having been forced to have sexual intercourse was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (21.9%) than heterosexual students (5.4%).
  • Almost one in 10 students (9.7%) had been forced to do “sexual things” (e.g., kissing, touching, or being physically forced to have sexual intercourse) they did not want to do one or more times during the 12 months before the survey.

SOURCE: Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., Queen, B., & Ethier, K. A. (2018). Youth risk behavior surveillance - United States, 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries, 67(8), 1–114. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2017/ss6708.pdf


The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence is a research project funded by the CDC and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to document the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to the full spectrum of violence, abuse, and victimization. Interviewers randomly sampled approximately 4,500 households nationally with children ages birth to 17, speaking to both the caregiver and one child. For more information on how this study was conducted, see the methodology report.

The surveys took place initially in 2008 (Finkelhor et al., 2009), 2011, and 2013-14 (Finkelhor et al., 2015). The study found that:

  • many children and youth were exposed to multiple types of experiences with violence, crime, or abuse, with over 40% having at least one direct experience during that year (Hamby et al., 2011).
  • Overall sexual victimization, reported at 6.1% during the initial study, declined slightly to 5% (4.1% of boys and 5.9% of girls) during 2014 when asked about the past year.
  • Other results included:
    • Girls 14 to 17 years old were at highest risk with 16.4% experiencing a sexual offense, and 4.6% experiencing sexual assault during that past year
    • 14.3% of 14-17 year old girls and 6.0% of boys ages 14-17 indicated they had experienced sexual assault during their life. Completed rape had occurred to 4.5% of girls and 2.3% of boys. Sexual assault by a known adult occurred to 4.3% of girls and 1.1% of boys.

SOURCES:

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H. A. Ormrod, R., & Hamby, S. L. (2009). Violence, abuse, and crime exposure in a national sample of children and youth. Pediatrics, 124(5), 1411–1423. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2009-0467

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H. A., Shattuck, A., & Hamby, S. L. (2015). Prevalence of childhood exposure to violence, crime, and abuse: Results from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(8), 746–754. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0676

Hamby, S., Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., & Ormrod, R. (2011, October). Children’s exposure to intimate partner violence and other family violence (NCJ 232272). Juvenile Justice Bulletin. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


  • Child sexual abuse is the strongest predictor of adult sexual victimization. Experiencing sexual abuse as a minor is correlated with children and adolescents being more likely to experience sexual assault in adulthood.
  • NISVS found that 35% of women who were raped under the age of 18 were also raped as adults, compared to 10% of women who were raped as an adult but did not experience child sexual abuse. (See also revictimization below for further data)

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.) Sexual violence in youth [Fact sheet]. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2012FindingsonSVinYouth-508.pdf


  • There is a body of research that finds associations between adult offenders who experienced sexual victimization as children, most often in addition to other forms of childhood abuse and neglect.
  • The association between multiple forms of childhood abuse and neglect and adult offenders has been found, for example, in Levenson and Socia (2015), where almost of half of sexual offenders studied reported four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

For more information:

  • Levenson, J. S., & Socia, K. M. (2015). Adverse childhood experiences and arrest patterns in a sample of sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(10), 1883-1911. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515570751
  • Levenson, J. S., Willis, G. M., & Prescott, D. S. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences in the lives of male sex offenders: Implications for trauma-informed care. Sexual Abuse, 28(4), 340–359. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063214535819

Although perpetrators of child sexual abuse are also often victims of child sexual abuse, IT IS RARE for victims of child sexual abuse to become perpetrators as adults.

Child sexual abuse — in addition to other adverse experiences and household dysfunctions that may be present in a child’s environment — place that child at higher risk for many subsequent problems. The majority of child victims do not grow up to become perpetrators solely as a result of the sexual abuse they experienced. A study by Widom and Massey (2015) found no statistically significant difference in arrest rates for sex crimes among victims of childhood sexual abuse and those who did not experience child sexual abuse.

SOURCE: Widom C., & Massey C. (2015). A prospective examination of whether childhood sexual abuse predicts subsequent sexual offending. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(1), e143357. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3357

Sexual Victimization of Men

According to 2015 NISVS data:

  • Almost a quarter of men who were surveyed (24.8%) experienced sexual violence involving physical contact, including:
    • Rape (completed or attempted): 2.6%
    • Made to penetrate (completed or attempted):7.1% (1 in 14 men).The majority of this group (almost 80%) reported the perpetrator as being female.
    • Sexual coercion (being worn down by someone who repeatedly asked for sex; sexual pressure due to someone using their influence or authority): 9.6% or almost 1 in 10 men
    • Unwanted sexual contact (for example, groping): 17.9%
    • NOTE: Since some respondents reported experiencing more than one form of victimization, these sum of these percentages is greater than 24.8%
    • Almost half (48.7%) of male victims were sexually assaulted for the first time as adults, but 51.3% of male victims of completed or attempted rape reported experiencing their first victimization prior to age 18; 25.3% reported their first victimization occurred between 11-17, and 26% reported their first victimization at age 10 or younger.

SOURCE: Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey : 2015 data brief – updated release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2015data-brief508.pdf


  • Forty-three percent of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime. (Note – this percentage is higher than other studies including NISVS because it also includes sexual harassment)

SOURCE: Kearl, H. (2018). The facts behind the #metoo movement: A national study on sexual harassment and assault. Stop Street Harassment. http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Full-Report-2018-National-Study-on-Sexual-Harassment-and-Assault.pdf

Sexual Victimization of Military Service Members
  • Estimated prevalence of sexual assault of women in the U.S. military increased to 6.2% from 4.3% in 2016, according to the Pentagon's annual study. Prevalence rates for men remain unchanged at 0.7%. The report acknowledges that “[r]isk factors for sexual assault victimization are persistent and multifaceted and require a comprehensive and systematic approach to prevention” (p.6) and that “survey results found a positive correlation between unhealthy workplace climates and the risk of sexual assault” (p.4).

Safe Helpline is an anonymous 24/7 phone and online support system for members of the Department of Defense community who have experienced sexual assault. During this reporting period, Safe Helpline reported that while women are the most frequent users of Safe Helpline, one-third of phone users were men.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Defense. (2019). Department of Defense Annual Report of Sexual Assault in the Military: Fiscal year 2018. https://www.sapr.mil/sites/default/files/DoD_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military.pdf


  • Among deployed service members of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, researchers found that women and men who reported a history of military sexual trauma were significantly more likely than those who did not to receive a mental health diagnosis including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse disorders. This is consistent with data suggesting that patients who experience military sexual trauma frequently present with substantial mental health needs.

SOURCE: Kimerling, R., Street, A. E., Pavao, J., Smith, M. W., Cronkite, R. C., Holmes, T. H. & Frayne, S. M. (2010). Military-related sexual trauma among Veterans Health Administration patients returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. American Journal of Public Health, 100(8), 1409-1412. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.171793


The RAND Military Workplace Study (RMWS) conducted in 2014 surveyed over 500,000 U.S. service members about sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the military in one of the largest surveys undertaken by the military. Approximately 170,000 persons responded:

  • Of active duty military, 5% of women and 1% of men indicated they had experienced one or more sexual assaults in the past year.
  • Approximately 26% of women and 7% of men reported sexual harassment or gender discrimination in the past year.

SOURCE: RAND National Defense Research Institute. (2014). Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. military: Top line estimates for active-duty service members from the 2014 RAND military workplace study. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR870.html


  • 52% of women reported retaliation – social or professional –after reporting a sexual assault.

SOURCE: RAND National Defense Research Institute. (2015). Sexual assault and sexual harassment in the U.S. military: Highlights from the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/RB9800/RB9841/RAND_RB9841.pdf

Sexual Violence and College Campuses
  • The 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct prepared for the Association of American Universities, updating a 2015 study of the same name, found sexual assault and misconduct at 33 of the nation’s major universities was almost one in four undergraduate women.
  • That one in four college undergraduate women in the United States are sexually assaulted was first found by Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski in 1987.

SOURCES:

Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Harps, S., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., Lee, H., Kranz, V., Herbison, R., & Madden, K. (2019). Report on the AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Association of American Universities. https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/AAU-Files/Key-Issues/Campus-Safety/FULL_2019_Campus_Climate_Survey.pdf

Koss, M.P., Gidycz, C.A., Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2), 162–170. https://doi.org/10.1037%2F0022-006X.55.2.162


In the late 2000s and early 2010s, a commonly cited prevalence rate for college women was one in five. A meta-analysis from 2017 examined the one-in-five prevalence rate to determine if it was an accurate representation. Researchers looked at four studies (below), which they found to be reasonably comparable in terms of representative samples, use of behaviorally specific questions, definitions consistent with the researchers’ definitions, and focus on respondents’ experiences since starting college. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that “one in five undergraduate college women is sexually assaulted” was a “reasonably accurate average.”

SOURCE: Muehlenhard, C. L., Peterson, Z. D., Humphreys, T. P., & Jozkowski, K. N. (2017). Evaluating the one-in-five statistic: Women’s risk of sexual assault while in college. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(4–5), 549–576. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2017.1295014


Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Climate Survey (2015):

  • 23.1% of all undergraduate women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault
  • 27.2% of senior women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault

SOURCE: Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Townsend., R., Lee, H., Bruce, C., & Thomas, G. (2015). Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Association of American Universities. https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/%40%20Files/Climate%20Survey/AAU_Campus_Climate_Survey_12_14_15.pdf


Campus Sexual Assault Study (2007) :

  • 19% of all undergraduate women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault
  • 26.3% of all senior women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault

SOURCE: Krebs, C. P., Lindquist, C. H., Warner, T. D., Fisher, B. S., & Martin, S. L. (2007). The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study (NCJ 221153). National Criminal Justice Reference Service. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf


Historically Black College and University Campus Sexual Assault (2011):

  • 14.2% of all undergraduate women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault
  • 16.1% of all senior women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault

SOURCES: Krebs, C.P., Barrick, K., Lindquist, C.H., Crosby, C., Boyd, C., & Bogan, Y. (2011). The sexual assault of undergraduate women at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(18), 3640–3666. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260511403759


Krebs, C. P., Lindquist, C. H., & Barrick, K. (2011). The Historically Black College and University Campus Sexual Assault (HBCU-CSA) Study (NCJ 233614). National Criminal Justice Reference Service. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/233614.pdf

Campus Climate Survey Validation Study (2016):

  • 20.5% of all undergraduate women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault
  • 25.1% of all senior women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault

SOURCE: Krebs, C., Lindquist, C., Warner, T., Berzofsky, M., Shook-Sa, B., & Peterson, K. (2016). Campus Climate Survey Validation Study: Final technical report (NCJ 249545). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ccsvsftr.pdf

Sexual Violence and Correctional Facilities
  • Allegations of sexual victimization in adult correctional facilities nearly tripled from 2011 to 2015. Correctional administrators reported 24,661 allegations of sexual victimization in prisons, jails, and other adult correctional facilities in 2015.

SOURCE: Rantala, R. R. (2018). Sexual victimization reported by adult correctional authorities, 2012-15 (NCJ 251146). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6326


  • Incarcerated persons who identify as LGBTQ are also at disproportionate risk for sexual victimization. In a study of 1,118 incarcerated LGBTQ persons, large percentages of respondents reported experiencing mistreatment and violence from prison staff, including strip searches (100%), unwanted touching (37%), sexual assault or rape (12%), promises of something in exchange for sexual favors (15%), physical assault (35%), verbal harassment (70%), and discrimination (70%). Large percentages of respondents reported experiencing mistreatment and violence from other prisoners, including unwanted touching (52%), sexual assault or rape (31%), physical assault (64%), verbal harassment (83%), and discrimination (77%). Among respondents who reported experiencing sexual assault or rape, 76% indicated that prison staff had intentionally placed them in situations where they would be at high risk of being sexually assaulted by another prisoner.

SOURCE: Lydon, J., Carrington, K., Low, H., Miller, R., & Yazdy, M. (2015). Coming out of concrete closets: A report on Black & Pink's National LGBTQ Prisoner Survey. Black and Pink. https://www.issuelab.org/resources/23129/23129.pdf


  • Among incarcerated youth, some populations are disproportionately at risk for sexual victimization behind bars. Out of a nationally representative sample of 8,659 incarcerated youth (7,794 males, 865 females), 6% indicated that they experienced sexual victimization in the past 12 months of detention. Non-heterosexual respondents had a 266% greater chance of experiencing sexual victimization in custody compared with heterosexual respondents. Respondents in gangs had a 117% greater chance of experiencing sexual victimization in custody compared to non-gang members. Respondents who experienced sexual victimization before their present incarceration were 52% more likely to experience sexual victimization in the past 12 months.

SOURCE: Ahlin, E. M. (2018). Risk factors of sexual assault and victimization among youth in custody. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518757226

Sexual Violence and Health

The long-term impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on various health and social problems can be significant for both men and women. Multiple studies examining the long-term effects of CSA have found increased risk for outcomes such as substance use and misuse, psychiatric disorders, suicide, and numerous other health and social problems. These issues are complex, and abuse and neglect can — depending on a variety of other factors — affect various aspects of a person's life.

SOURCE: Maniglio, R. (2009).The impact of child sexual abuse on heath: A systematic review of reviews. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(7), 647–657. https://doi.iorg/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.08.003


The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study was a groundbreaking research study of primary are patients initially conducted during 1995-97. Patients were asked about multiple types of adverse childhood experiences they might have experienced including psychological, physical, or sexual abuse as well as family circumstances, such as a parent who was mentally ill or imprisoned. Those were matched to patients’ current health and social status. Researchers found direct links between these childhood traumas and adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, and life events such as imprisonment.

Dozens of research studies have been published since then, analyzing this vast store of data. One such analysis found that ACEs are highly related to high‐risk adolescent and adult sexual behaviors including early onset of intercourse, multiple sexual partners, and self‐perceived high risk of AIDS.

SOURCE: Hillis, S. D., Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., & Marchbanks, P. A. (2001). Adverse childhood experiences and sexual risk behaviors in women: A retrospective cohort study. Family Planning Perspectives, 33(5), 206–211. https://doi.org/10.2307/2673783


Sexual victimization — whether as a child or an adult — can significantly impact physical and mental health:

  • Sexual assault can impact mental health and substance abuse significantly: 13%–51% of women meet diagnostic criteria for depression following sexual assault; 23%–44% experience suicidal ideation with 2%–19% attempting suicide; dependence on alcohol can be seen in 13%–49%; and 28%–61% report the use of other illegal substances.

SOURCE: Campbell, R., Dworkin, E., & Cabral, G. (2009). An ecological model of the impact of sexual assault on women’s mental health. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 10(3), 225–246. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838009334456


  • An analysis of nearly 200 independent studies involving more than 230,000 adult participants found that having been sexually assaulted is associated with significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

SOURCE: Dworkin, E., Menon, S. V., Bystrynski, J., & Allen, N. E. (2017). Sexual assault victimization and psychopathology: A review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 56, 65–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2017.06.002


  • Male victims of sexual violence experience subsequent mental and physical health problems and were more likely to report poor mental health, poor life satisfaction, activity limitations, and lower emotional and social support than non‐victimized men.

SOURCE: Choudhary, E., Coben, J., & Bossarte, R. M. (2009). Adverse health outcomes, perpetrator characteristics, and sexual violence victimization among U.S. adult males. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(8), 1523–1541. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260509346063


Rape-related pregnancy and reproductive coercion: Using data from 2010-2012 NISVS, researchers found:

  • Almost 2.9 million U.S. women experience rape-related pregnancy during their lifetime.
  • Women who were raped by a current or former intimate partner were more likely to report rape-related pregnancy (26%) compared to those raped by an acquaintance (5.2%) or a stranger (6.9%).
  • Reproductive coercion by partners is associated with rape-related pregnancy. Women who reported intimate partner rape-related pregnancy were significantly more likely to experience reproductive coercion (51.8%) than women who experienced intimate partner rape and reproductive coercion but not rape-related pregnancy (22.1%).

SOURCE: Basile, K. C., Smith, S. G., Liu, Y., Kresnow, M. D., Fasula, A. M., Gilbert, L., & Chen, X. (2018). Rape-related pregnancy and association with reproductive coercion in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 55(6), 770–776. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.07.028


For more information, see NSVRC’s talking points: American Journal of Preventive Medicine Releases Data on Rape-Related Pregnancy in the US on rape-related pregnancy and CDC’s Understanding Pregnancy Resulting from Rape in the United States.

It should be noted that not all individuals will experience long-term medical, physical, or mental health symptoms. The effects of sexual violence on every person are different because people are different. Some people will go on to lead healthy and productive lives and experience few negative effects, while others may suffer the effects throughout their lives, such as turbulent relationships, employment problems, increased rates of substance abuse, and increased medical costs.

Sexual Violence and Housing
  • Safe and affordable housing is a necessary foundation to lead a healthy and productive life. Housing and sexual violence can have a reciprocal relationship — i.e. sexual violence can jeopardize a person’s housing, and lack of housing or inadequate shelter can increase the risk for sexual violence.
  • Sexual violence and other forms of trauma are common among people experiencing housing instability or homelessness. For example:
    • In a study of 434 women who were experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Washington D.C., 76% experienced violence at some point in their lives, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood, stalking, dating violence, or emotional, physical, or sexual intimate partner violence; 19% indicated that they experienced intimate partner sexual assault at some point in their lives, and 21% indicated that they experienced sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or relative.

SOURCE: The Women’s Task Force of the District of Columbia Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2018). 2017 D.C. Women's Needs Assessment Report. Calvary Women's Services. https://www.calvaryservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017dcwnafullreport.pdf


  • A Minnesota study of 3,672 homeless persons, found 19% of youth reported being physically or sexually assaulted while homeless; 25% of respondents (36% of female respondents and 14% of male respondents) indicated that they experienced sexual abuse as a child.

SOURCE: Wilder Research. (2016). Homelessness in Minnesota: Findings from the 2015 Minnesota Homeless Study. http://mnhomeless.org/minnesota-homeless-study/reports-and-fact-sheets/2015/2015-homelessness-in-minnesota-11-16.pdf


  • Transgender people who experience homelessness often encounter high rates of violence, including sexual assault.
    • In a survey of over 6,000 transgender and gender-nonconforming adults, 11.4% indicated that they experienced homelessness due to their gender identity, and 16.3% indicated that they had sought temporary sleeping arrangements due to their gender identity. Out of the respondents who had gone to a homeless shelter, 51.4% reported being harassed by residents/staff, 24.7% reported being physically assaulted by residents or staff, 21.7% reported being sexually assaulted by residents or staff, and 44.2% reported leaving a shelter due to poor treatment or unsafe conditions.

SOURCE: Begun, S., & Kattari, S. K. (2016). Conforming for survival: Associations between transgender visual conformity/passing and homelessness experienced. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 28(1), 54-66. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538720.2016.1125821

Sexual Violence Committed by Acquaintances, Friends, and Family
  • Data from NISVS 2011 revealed that a majority of victims of all types of sexual violence knew the person who perpetrated. Almost half (46.7%) of female victims of rape had at least one perpetrator who was an acquaintance, and 45.4% of female rape victims had at least one perpetrator who was an intimate partner. For male victims, 44.9% were raped by an acquaintance, and 29% were raped by an intimate partner.

SOURCE: Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Basile, K. C., Walters, M. L., Chen, J., & Merrick, M. (2014). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization – National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries, 63(8), 1–18. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6308.pdf


  • The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) compared data between college and non-college females ages 18–24 and found that the offender was known to the victim (for both college and non-students) in about 80% of rape and sexual assault victimizations.

SOURCE: Sinozich, S., & Langton, L. (2014). Rape and sexual assault victimization among college-age females, 1995–2013 (NCJ 248471). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf


  • Approximately 90% of children who are abused know their abuser.

SOURCE: Finkelhor, D., & Shattuck, A. (2012). Characteristics of crimes against juveniles. University of New Hampshire, Crimes against Children Research Center. http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV26_Revised%20Characteristics%20of%20Crimes%20against%20Juveniles_5-2-12.pdf


  • Child sexual abuse is often committed by someone the victim knows and trusts. Girls who experience rape under the age of 18 identified their offenders as:
    • Acquaintance: 43.6%
    • current or former intimate partner: 28.8%
    • family member: 27.7%
    • person in a position of authority: 4.5%
    • stranger: 10.1%

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.) Sexual violence in youth [Fact sheet]. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2012FindingsonSVinYouth-508.pdf

Sexual Violence Facilitated by Drugs or Alcohol
  • Results from the 2015 NISVS study found 11% of women have experienced alcohol or drug-facilitated forced penetration at some point in their lives, and 5.5% of men were made to penetrate someone else through alcohol/drug facilitation.

SOURCE: Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2018). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 data brief – updated release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/2015data-brief508.pdf


  • Perpetrators of drug- or alcohol-facilitated sexual assault may give victims intoxicating substances against their will or without their consent, or they may target victims who are already intoxicated. In a study of 390 sexual assault victims who sought services at an urban rape treatment center, 45.7% of cases with male victims and 28.1% with female victims involved the victim being given drugs against their will or without their consent. In addition, 28.3% of cases with male victims and 21.8% with female victims involved the victim voluntarily using substances.

SOURCE: Richer, L. A., Fields, L., Bell, S., Heppner, J., Dodge, J., Boccellari, A., & Shumway, M. (2015). Characterizing drug-facilitated sexual assault subtypes and treatment engagement of victims at a hospital-based rape treatment center. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(10), 1524–1542. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515589567

Sexual Violence in Communities of Color

Black/African American Survivors

  • Out of a sample of 1,678 Black/African American and multiracial adolescents ages 13-17 (1,390 cisgender, 191 transgender, 160 non-binary, 132 genderqueer, 56 other gender identity, 40% bisexual, 34% gay or lesbian, 15% pansexual, 3% queer, 2% asexual, 2% straight, and 2% other orientation), 18% of respondents indicated that they had been forced to do unwanted sexual acts, and 13% indicated that they had been sexually attacked or raped. Twenty-seven percent of transgender and gender-expansive youth and 14% of cisgender LGBQ youth indicated that they had been forced to do unwanted sexual acts.

SOURCE: Human Rights Campaign. (2019). 2019 Black and African American LGBTQ youth report. Human Rights Campaign. https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/HRC_2019_Black_and_African_American_LGBTQ_Youth_Report-FINAL-web.pdf

  • Out of a sample of 3,951 undergraduate women attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), 8.68% indicated that they experienced forced sexual assault before college, and 3.41% indicated that they experienced incapacitated sexual assault before college. Of the respondents, 4.8% indicated that they experienced forced sexual assault since entering college, and 6.2% indicated that they experienced incapacitated sexual assault since entering college.

SOURCE: Lindquist, C. H., Crosby, C. M., Barrick, K., Krebs, C. P., & Settles-Reaves, B. (2016). Disclosure of sexual assault experiences among undergraduate women at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Journal of American College Health, 64(6), 469–480. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2016.1181635

  • In a study of 168 urban African American women, 53.7% reported experiencing rape and 44.8% reported experiencing sexual coercion at some point in their lives. Out of the 79 respondents who reported experiencing rape or sexual coercion, 73.4% indicated that their first sexual victimization took place before age 18.

SOURCE:  Basile, K. C., Smith, S. G., Fowler, D. N., Walters, M. L., & Hamburger, M. E. (2016). Sexual violence victimization and associations with health in a community sample of African American women. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 25(3), 231–253. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2015.1079283


Asian American Survivors

  • Out of a sample of 1,243 Asian American and Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth (ages 13-17), 8% indicated that they had been sexually attacked or raped. Sixteen percent of respondents (including 23% of transgender and gender-expansive youth and 13% of cisgender LGBQ youth) indicated that they had been forced into unwanted sexual acts.

SOURCE: Human Rights Campaign. (2019). 2019 LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander youth report. Human Rights Campaign. https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/FINAL-API-LGBTQ-YOUTHREPORT.pdf

  • Out of a sample of 324 undergraduate Asian American women, 14% indicated that they experienced childhood sexual abuse, and 23% reported experiencing intimate partner sexual victimization.

SOURCE: Nguyen, H. V., Schacht, R. L., Yang, J. P., George, W. H., & Pantalone, D. W. (2018). Asian American women's victimization history and in-the-moment responses to partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518770186

  • Out of a sample of 720 Asian American women ages 18-35 (mostly of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese heritage), 14.3% reported experiencing forced sex at some point in their lives. Respondents with a history of sexual victimization were more likely than respondents with no history of forced sex to have symptoms of depression (46.6% versus 29.9%), to have experienced suicidal ideation (32% versus 15.1%), and to have attempted suicide (17.5% versus 5.4%).

SOURCE: Hahm, H. C., Augsberger, A., Feranil, M., Jang, J., & Tagerman, M. (2017). The association between forced sex and severe mental health, substance use, and HIV risk behaviors among Asian American women. Violence Against Women, 23(6), 671–691. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801216647797

  • In a web-based survey of 368 South Asian adults living in the U.S., 25.2% indicated that they had experienced childhood sexual abuse, 41.2% witnessed parental violence, and 24% had experienced relationship violence.

SOURCE: Robertson, H. A., Nagaraj, N. C., & Vyas, A. N. (2015). Family violence and child sexual abuse among south Asians in the U.S. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 18(4), 921-927. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0227-8


Native American/First Nations/Alaska Native Survivors

Out of a sample of 3,978 Native Americans and Alaska Natives (2,473 women and 1,505 men), 56.1% of women and 27.5% of men reported experiencing sexual violence at some point in their lives.

Thirty-five percent of women reported experiencing attempted or completed rape at some point in their lives. 

Of female respondents,

  • 12.2% experienced attempted rape,
  • 29.5% experienced completed rape, and
  • 16.7% experienced alcohol or drug-facilitated rape.

Additionally, 52.1% of women experienced sexual violence other than rape at some point in their lives, including

  • sexual coercion (24.5%),
  • unwanted sexual contact (42.5%), and
  • non-contact unwanted sexual experiences (38.4%).

SOURCE: Rosay, A. B. (2016). Violence against American Indian and Alaska native women and men: 2010 findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Criminal Justice Reference Service. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249736.pdf

Out of a sample of 506 cases of missing or murdered Native American/Alaska Native women and girls, the Urban Indian Health Institute identified 96 cases related to domestic violence, sexual assault, police brutality, or the sex trade. Twenty-five victims (6% of cases) experienced sexual assault at the time of their disappearance or death. Eighteen victims (4% of cases) were involved in the sex trade. Thirty-nine percent of victims in the sex trade were sexually assaulted at the time of their disappearance or death.

SOURCE: Urban Indian Health Institute. (2018). Missing and murdered indigenous women & girls: A snapshot of data from 71 urban cities in the United States. Seattle Indian Health Board. http://www.uihi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Missing-and-Murdered-Indigenous-Women-and-Girls-Report.pdf

In a study of 259 First Nations women who used illicit drugs between 2003 and 2010, 124 reported injection drug use. Fifty-six women (45.2% of the injection drug users) reported experiencing at least one sexual assault in the previous six months. Of those 56 women, almost half (44.6%) reported experiencing two or more sexual assaults in the previous six months. Only 21.4% reported receiving counseling that dealt with the assault(s).

Participants who 

  • had a parent that attended a residential school were 2.35 times more likely to have been sexually assaulted,
  • had experienced childhood sexual abuse were 9.74 times more likely to experience sexual assault later in life, or
  • were involved in sex work were 3.39 times more likely to experience sexual assault.

SOURCE: Pearce, M. E., Blair, A. H., Teegee, M., Pan, S. W., Thomas, V., Zhang, H. Schechter, M. T., & Spittal, P. M. (2015). The Cedar Project: Historical trauma and vulnerability to sexual assault among young aboriginal women who use illicit drugs in two Canadian cities. Violence Against Women, 21(3), 313–329. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801214568356


Latinx Survivors

  • Out of a sample of 1,041 Puerto Rican adolescents (ages 10-13), 24% of respondents reported some history of abuse and/or neglect. Nearly four percent (3.8%) indicated that they had experienced sexual abuse, and 3.4% indicated that they experienced multiple forms of maltreatment. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and multiple forms of maltreatment were associated with depressive symptoms.

SOURCE: Jaschek, G., Carter-Pokras, O., He, X., Lee, S., & Canino, G. (2016). Association of child maltreatment and depressive symptoms among Puerto Rican youth. Child Abuse & Neglect, 58, 63–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.06.016

  • Data from the Sexual Assault Among Latinas Study (SALAS) found that out of 1,971 adult Latina women, 11.8% reported experiencing sexual victimization at some point in their lives. Over 13% of ethnically Mexican women and over 6% of ethnically Cuban women reported experiencing sexual victimization.

SOURCE: Sabina, C., Cuevas, C. A., & Schally, J. L. (2015). The influence of ethnic group variation on victimization and help seeking among Latino women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21(1), 19–30. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036526

  • In this study of 1,509 women (506 Hispanic women and 1,003 African American women), 20% of respondents reported experiencing forced sex at some point in their lives. Ten percent of respondents reported that the first occurrence of forced sex took place at or before 15 years of age, and 10% reported that forced sex first occurred after age 15.

SOURCE: Jones, D., Marks, G., Villar-Loubet, O., Weiss, S. M., O'Daniels, C., Borkowf, C. B., Simpson, C., Adimora, A. A., & McLella-Lemal, E. (2015). Experience of forced sex and subsequent sexual, drug, and mental health outcomes: African American and Hispanic women in the southeastern United States. International Journal of Sexual Health, 27(3), 249-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2014.959631

Statistics that Previously Appeared on this Page

Sexual Assault in the United States
  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)
  • In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
  • 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance (a)
  • 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger (a)
  • Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
  • 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male (m)
  • In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator (j)
  • Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work (c)
Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault
  • The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)
  • Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)
  • 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)
  • Health care is 16% higher for women who were sexually abused as children and 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as children (k)
Child Sexual Abuse
  • One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old (d)
  • 30% of women were between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of their first completed rape (a)
  • 12.3% of women were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)
  • 27.8% of men were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)
  • More than one third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adult (a)
  • 96% of people who sexually abuse children are male, and 76.8% of people who sexually abuse children are adults (l)
  • 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child (l)
  • It is estimated that 325,000 children per year are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial child sexual exploitation (k)
  • The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14 years old, and the average age at which boys first become victims of prostitution is 11-13 years old (k)
  • Only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the authorities (f)
Campus Sexual Assault
  • 20% - 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college (b)
  • A 2002 study revealed that 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes (h)
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault (b)
  • 27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact (e)
  • Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment (p)
Crime Reports
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low  between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports (i). A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports (h). Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports (g).
References

(a) Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S .G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 summary report. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

(b) Cullen, F., Fisher, B., & Turner, M., The sexual victimization of college women (NCJ 182369). (2000). Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf

(c) Duhart, D. (2001). Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vw99.pdf

(d) Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics and risk factors. Child Abuse & Neglect 14, 19-28. doi:10.1016/0145-2134(90)90077-7

(e) Gross, A. M., Winslett, A., Roberts, M., & Gohm, C. L. (2006). An Examination of Sexual Violence Against College Women. Violence Against Women, 12, 288-300. doi: 10.1177/1077801205277358

(f) Hanson, R. F., Resnick, H. S., Saunders, B. E., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Best, C. (1999). Factors related to the reporting of childhood rape. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23(6), 559–569.

(g) Heenan, M., & Murray, S. (2006). Study of reported rapes in Victoria 2000-2003: Summary research report. Retrieved from the State of Victoria (Australia), Department of Human Services: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/igzd08ddxtpwz.pdf

(h) Lisak, D., Gardinier, L., Nicksa, S. C., & Cote, A. M. (2010). False allegations of sexual assault: An analysis of ten years of reported cases. Violence Against Women, 16, 1318-1334. doi:10.1177/1077801210387747

(i) Lonsway, K. A., Archambault, J., & Lisak, D. (2009). False reports: Moving beyond the issue to successfully investigate and prosecute non-stranger sexual assault. Retrieved from: https://www.nsvrc.org/publications/articles/false-reports-moving-beyond-issue-successfully-investigate-and-prosecute-non-s

(j) Miller, T. R., Cohen, M. A., & Wiersema, B. (1996). Victim costs and consequences: A new look (NCJ 155282). Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/victcost.pdf

(k) National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. (2012). National Plan to Prevent the Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children. Retrieved from http://www.preventtogether.org/Resources/Documents/NationalPlan2012FINAL.pdf

(l) National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2011). Child sexual abuse prevention: Overview. Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/publications/child-sexual-abuse-prevention-overview

(m) Rennison, C. M. (2002). Rape and sexual assault: Reporting to police and medical attention, 1992-2000 [NCJ 194530]. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsarp00.pdf

(n) Peterson, C., DeGue, S., Florence, C., & Lokey, C. N. (2017). Lifetime economic burden of rape among U.S. adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Advanced online publication. doi:10.1016/j. amepre.2016.11.014

(o) Smith, S. G., Chen, J., Basile, K. C., Gilbert, L. K., Merrick, M. T., Patel, N., … Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 state report. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS-StateReportBook.pdf

(p) Hill, C., & Silva, E. (2005). Drawing the line: Sexual harassment on campus. Retrieved from the American Association of University Women: http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/drawing-the-line-sexual-harassment-on-campus.pdf

Topic Research