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17 Staggering Sexual Assault Statistics Everyone Should Read

Mom.com logo Mom.com 4/8/2019 Madeline Holler

a woman looking at the camera: Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than girls and women in other age groups to be assualted or raped. In general, 48% of rape survivors were sleeping or performing another activity at home when they were victimized. Nearly 30% were traveling to and from school or work, or shopping or running errands. Some 12% were working when they were assaulted, 7% were attending school and 5% were doing some other activity. © Getty Images

Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than girls and women in other age groups to be assualted or raped. In general, 48% of rape survivors were sleeping or performing another activity at home when they were victimized. Nearly 30% were traveling to and from school or work, or shopping or running errands. Some 12% were working when they were assaulted, 7% were attending school and 5% were doing some other activity.

Editor's note: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Each week throughout the month, MSN Causes is providing articles and resources to inform and empower our readers, whether you're a survivor of sexual assault, know someone who is, or want to prevent sexual violence from ever happening to you and those you love. Please join us in supporting the work of RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, which has been providing services to survivors for 25 years.

Sexual assault remains dramatically underreported, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, and understanding the staggering statistics around this all-to-common crime is important for finding ways to protect people and support victims.

1. Acquaintance Rape

Eight out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, according to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. This can be a relative, former spouse, teacher, religious leader, work or school colleague, a date or some other acquaintance.

2. Perpetrators Know Their Child Victims

In nearly all instances of child sexual assault — 93% — the sexual abuser knows the victim. Every nine minutes, Child Protective Services finds evidence for a claim of sexual abuse. In 2016, CPS found strong evidence that 57,329 children were victims of sexual abuse.

3. False Rape Claims Are Low

The prevalence of false rape claims varies, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, with estimates anywhere between 2% and 10% of total claims. In a study of eight communities around the U.S., researchers found a 7.1% rate of false reports from among 2,059 sexual assault cases. Another study in Boston found a 5.9% false-report rate among 136 sexual assault cases. Other researchers found a 2.1% rate of false reports from 2000 to 2003, when they looked at 812 reports of assault.

4. Sexual Assault Costs Millions

Sexual assault has economic consequences — some $450 billion worth (with a "b") annually. Rape alone costs an estimated $127 billion per year (excluding child sex abuse), with each rape costing around $151,423. These costs are the result of funding sexual assault services, as well as lost wages over time due to lower educational attainment (which is common among adolescent assault survivors) and lost wages due to an inability to work, a frequent consequence of assault.

5. Assault in the Military

Assault in the military is alarmingly common. In 2014, there were at least 20,300 members of the military who were assaulted. Reporting assault in the military is also low, with 85% of victims not reporting them in 2014. Moreover, retaliation for reporting is common. More than 60% of military women who reported their assaults were found to have experienced retaliation. Not surprising, since one in seven of the assaults in the military are someone in the victim's chain of command.

6. The Rates Are Falling

The rate of reported sexual assaults has fallen dramatically since 1993, when there were 4.3 rapes for every 1,000 people in the U.S. The rate in 2016 was 1.2 for every 1,000 people, a 63% decline. Still, each year there are 60,000 children who were victims of abuse (or showed signs); 80,600 inmates in prisons who were sexually assaulted or raped; and 321,500 Americans 12 years or older who were sexually assaulted or raped.

7. Native Americans Are at Higher Risk

Native Americans are two times as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted as all other races in the U.S. More than 40 percent of sexual assaults against American Indians are committed by strangers, while 34% are by an acquaintance. Twenty-five percent of rape and sexual assault among Native Americans is by an intimate partner or family member.

8. The Most Vulnerable Age Range

The most vulnerable to be sexually assaulted or raped are women between 12 to 34 years old. This group makes up 69% of victims.

9. Transgender College Students Are at Higher Risk

Transgender college students are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, with 21% of transgender, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming college students having been sexually assaulted. This is compared to 18% of non-TGQN females and 4% of non-TGQN males.

10. Bisexual Women Are at Higher Risk

Also at higher risk are bisexual women, 46% of whom report being raped (22% by an intimate partner) in their lifetime. This is compared to 17% of straight women (9% by an intimate partner) and 13% of lesbians. And 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21% of heterosexual men. Though, 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence as well.

11. Most Rape Victims Are Female

A vast majority of rape victims are female. That includes 90% of adult victims and 82% of all juvenile victims.

12. Rape and Sexual Assault Are Frequent

It is estimated that every 92 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. On average, there are 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault (age 12 or older) in the U.S. every year.

13. Disability and Sexual Assault

People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of rape and sexual assault than those without disabilities. Females with disabilities experienced even higher rates of victimization than males. And those with a type of cognitive-functioning disability were at higher risk for violent victimization than those with any other type of disability.

14. Teens Are Most at Risk

Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than girls and women in other age groups to be assualted or raped. In general, 48% of rape survivors were sleeping or performing another activity at home when they were victimized. Nearly 30% were traveling to and from school or work, or shopping or running errands. Some 12% were working when they were assaulted, 7% were attending school and 5% were doing some other activity.

15. Survivors Over a Lifetime

One out of every six American women in her lifetime is a victim of attempted or completed rape (14.8% of all women have experienced attempted rape; 2.8% completed). One in 33 American men (about 3%) have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

16. Little Justice

Out of every 1,000 rapes, 995 perpetrators won't serve any jail time, according to RAINN. This is because out of every 1,000 rapes, only 230 are reported to police. Only 46 of those reports lead to an arrest. And of those arrested, only nine cases get referred to prosecutors. Of those, only five will lead to prosecution and of those five, only 4.6 lead to imprisonment of any length.

17. The Effects

Nearly 40% of sexual assault victims experience work or school problems, including but not limited to conflicts with bosses, co-workers, classmates and peers. Nearly as many, 37%, have problems within the family or among their friends, such as frequent arguing and an inability to trust. Of those who were victimized by an intimate partner, 84% experience problems professionally and emotionally, such as moderate to severe distress.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. Additional resources information and links are also available on RAINN.

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