Dr. Harmony’s Resource Corner

Sexual Violence

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).


(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. The Voice, 3(1), 1-11. Retrieved from the National District Attorneys Association: http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/the_voice_vol_3_no_1_2009.pdf

(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 http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_Child-sexual-abuse-prevention_0.pdf

(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














*Information from RAINN.ORG