Current as of 2008
Sexual violence is any act (verbal and/or physical) which breaks a person’s trust and/or safety and is sexual in nature. The term “sexual violence” includes: rape, incest, child sexual assault, ritual abuse, date and acquaintance rape, marital or partner rape, sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism. Sexual assaults are acts of violence where sex is used as the weapon. Assaults are motivated primarily out of anger and/or a need to feel powerful by controlling, dominating, or humiliating the victim. Victims/survivors of sexual assaults are forced, coerced, and/or manipulated to participate in unwanted sexual activity. Victims/survivors do not cause their assaults and are not to blame. Offenders are responsible for their assaults.
Sexual assault is widely accepted to be a vastly underreported crime. It is estimated that less than 40% of victims report their crime to police. This makes collecting accurate data about sexual assault challenging. Researchers conduct victimization studies, where they survey the general population about their experiences with sexual assault. These surveys are considered to be more accurate because they include victims who did not report to police. Victimization surveys are not conducted annually; therefore, some statistics are updated less often.
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
- An estimated 203,830 assaults were reported in the United States in 2008. (2008 National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. September 2009.)
- In 2005 only 38.3% of total rapes were reported to police. 56.1% of stranger rapes and 28.3% of non-stranger rapes were reported to police. (2005 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. December 2006.)
- Nationally 9% of high school students report being forced to have sex (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance- United States 2003)
- 17.7 million women in the United States have been the victim of a rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives. (National Institute of Justice Centers and for Disease Control; Research in Brief, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. November, 1998.)
- More than ½ of the victims who had experienced sexual assault as an adult had been victims of multiple assaults. (Feldhaus, K. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Volume 36, pp23-27. July, 2000.)
- 89% of the victims were female; 11% were male. (1999 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. 2000.)
- One study found that 34% of sexual assaults occurred when victims were less than 12 years old; 33% occurred between the ages of 12-17; and 14% occurred between the ages of 18-24. (Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, 2000.)
- One of every seven victims of sexual assault is under the age of 6. (Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, 2000.)
- One in four victims of sexual assault under the age of 12 are boys. (Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Washington D.C: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. September, 1999.)
- In 2005, 75.8% of rape or sexual assault victims knew their offenders. (2005 National Crime Victimization Survey.. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. December, 2006.)
- About 2/3 of sexual assaults occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. (2005 National Crime Victimization Survey. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. December, 2006.)
- Approximately 22% of victims are raped by intimates such as husbands or boyfriends, 47% by acquaintances, and 2 % by other relatives. (Criminal Victimization in 1999: Changes 1998-1999, with trends 1993-1999. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. August, 2000.)
- 2/3 of women who have been physically abused by an intimate partner have also been sexually assaulted by that partner. (L. Taylor & N. Gaskin-Laniyan . Sexual Assault in Abusive Relationships. National Institutes of Justice Journal 256, January 2007
- 38% of women surveyed said that they had sex with a husband or intimate partner when they didn’t want to. 3% of women were threatened with violence if they didn’t have sex, and 8% were coerced into sex after the use of physical force. (Basile, K.C. From Unwanted Sex to Wife Rape: Examining Sexual Coercion in Marriage on a Continuum of Severity. Unpublished Dissertation. 1998)
- Women who reported being raped before the age of 18 are twice as likely to report being raped as adults (Extent, Nature and Consequences of Rape Victimization: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Tjaden, P. and Thoennes, N. National Institute of Justice, January, 2006.)
- Women who were raped since the age of 18 were 32% more likely than their male counterparts to report a physical injury other than the rape itself. (Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Tjaden, P. and Thoennes, N. U.S. Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control. November 1998.)
- The chances that a woman will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being raped are between 50-90%. Sexual assault is also closely related to depression and anxiety disorders. (Population Reports: Ending Violence Against Women. Population Information Program, Center for Communication Programs. The John Hopkins School of Public Health & Center for Health and Gender Equity. 2000.)
- 26.6% of women suffering from bulimia nervosa were raped at some point in their lives, while only 13.3% of women with no eating disorder had been raped. (Dansky, B.; Brewerton, T.; Kilpatrick, D.; and O’Neil, P.; “The National Women’s Study: Relationship of Victimization and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to Bulimia Nervosa.” International Journal of Eating Disorders. Volume 21(3): pp. 213-228, 1997.)
- 50-75% of women in substance abuse treatment programs are survivors of sexual violence. (Homeless, Addictions, and Mental Illness. 1997. Anderson, C. and Chiocchio, K. Sexual Abuse in the Lives of Women Diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness. Harris, M., ed., pp. 21-37)
HERE ARE THE FACTS FOR WISCONSIN:
Based on Reports made to Law Enforcement in 2004:
- An estimated 5,618 sexual assaults were reported in 2004. This represents a 3.9% increase from the 2003 reported total.
- 85% of victims were female, 93% offenders were male.
- 88.9% of all sexual assaults were perpetrated by someone know to the victim, while 6.4% were committed by strangers.
- 58.5% of all assaults took place in either the victim’s or the offender’s home.
- 77% of all sexual assault victims were juveniles. Over 70% of all victims were 15 years old or younger.
- The average age of the offender was 24, nine years older than the average age of the victim age of 15.
- According to crime statistics there was a sexual assault every 1 hour, 33 minutes, 33 seconds in 2004. Source for Wisconsin Statistics: Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance Report on Sexual Assaults in Wisconsin 2004: December 2005
- It is estimated that 14.2% of adult women in Wisconsin have experienced one or more completed, forcible rape. This estimate does not include male victims, underage victims, or victims who were unable to consent to sex due to their age, mental condition, or level of intoxication, or sexual assaults other than rape. This is equal to one out of every seven women in Wisconsin. (Kilpatrick, D.G., & Ruggiero, K.J. (2003). Rape in Wisconsin: A Report to the State. Charleston, SC: National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina).