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Sexual Violence Statistics PDF icon


Sexual violence encompasses a variety of criminal acts, ranging from sexual threats to unwanted contact to rape. These crimes are extremely underreported because of the stigma associated with sexual assault—and are therefore difficult to count in official statistics. Forcible rapes known to law enforcement have declined sharply since 1979, when they were at an all-time high.[1] Nevertheless, the recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey shows that sexual violence, in many forms, remains pervasive and traumatizing to its victims. Most of these crimes are committed by males against females, and by offenders who are known to victims.

  • Chart: sexual assault victims by sexIn 2010, victims ages 12 or older experienced a total of 188,380 rapes or sexual assaults.[2]
  • In 2010 92 percent of rape or sexual assault victims were female.[3]
  • Of female rape or sexual assault victims in 2010, 25 percent were assaulted by a stranger, 48 percent by friends or acquaintances, and 17 percent by intimate partners.[4]
  • Chart: sexual assaults reported to law enforcementIn 2010, 35 percent of rapes or sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement.[5]
  • In 2010, forcible rapes accounted for 7 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement.[6]
  • In 2010, 0.2 percent of all arrests were for forcible rape.[7]
  • During fiscal year 2010, there were 3,158 reports of sexual assault involving military service members—representing a 2-percent decrease from fiscal year 2009. Of these reports, 2,410 were “unrestricted”[8] reports, which is a 4-percent decrease from fiscal year 2009.[9]
  • In 2010, the Armed Services received 882 restricted [10] reports of sexual assault, but at the request of the victim, 134 of these were converted from “restricted” to “unrestricted” reports, which allow an official investigation.[11]
  • In fiscal year 2010, 56 percent of unrestricted reports in the Armed Services involved service member-on-service member sexual assault.[12]
  • In 2010, 40 percent of reported forcible rapes were cleared by law enforcement.[13]
  • Just under 10 percent of former state prisoners reported having experienced sexual victimization during their most recent period of incarceration. Rates of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization were more than 3 times higher for females (14 percent) than for males (4 percent).[14]
  • A recent study found that, of a nationwide sample of 2,000 Latinas, 17 percent had been sexually assaulted at some point during their lifetime. The majority of these sexual assault victims (88 percent) had also experienced another type of victimization (physical, threat, stalking, or witnessing abuse).[15]
  • Nearly 1 in 5—or 22 million—women in the United States have been raped in their lifetimes.[16]
  • Approximately 1 in 71 men in the United States reports having been raped in his lifetime, which equals roughly 1.6 million men.[17]
  • Chart: Women’s Lifetime Experience of Sexual Assault by Race and EthnicityNon-contact, unwanted sexual experiences were the most common form of sexual violence experienced by both men and women; about 40 million women and 14 million men have had this experience during their lifetimes.[18]
  • Approximately 1 in 5 black and white non-Hispanic women, and 1 in 7 Hispanic women have experienced rape at some point in their lives. More than one-quarter of women who identified as Native American/Alaska Native reported rape victimization in their lifetimes.[19]
  • Between one-fifth and one-quarter of black, white, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native men experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetimes.[20]
  • More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (28 percent) were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.[21]
  • Chart: Victim–Offender Relationship Reports of Rape across lifetimeMore than one-half of female victims of rape (51 percent) reported that at least one perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner.[22]
  • Of female victims, 41 percent reported having been raped by an acquaintance, while 13 percent reported having been raped by a family member. About 14 percent reported having been raped by a stranger.[23]
  • Three-quarters (75 percent) of female victims of sexual coercion reported perpetration by an intimate partner, and 46 percent of unwanted sexual contact victims reported perpetration by an acquaintance.[24]
  • Nearly 1 in 10 women (just over 9 percent) has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime.[25]
  • Of female victims of sexual violence other than rape, 92 percent reported only male perpetrators. Of male victims of the same type of victimization, 79 percent reported only female perpetrators.[26]
  • More than three-quarters of female victims of completed rape (80 percent) were first raped before their 25th birthday, with 42 percent experiencing their first completed rape before the age of 18.[27]
  • Of the women who reported a completed rape before the age of 18, 35 percent also experienced a completed rape as an adult, compared to 14 percent of the women who did not report being raped prior to age 18.[28]

References

  1. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “National Crime Victimization Survey, Violent Crime Trends, 1973-2008,” Key Facts at a Glance, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2010), accessed September 5, 2012, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm.
  2. Jennifer L. Truman, Criminal Victimization, 2010, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2011), Table 1, accessed September 10, 2012, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf.
  3. Ibid., calculated from data in Table 5.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid., 6.
  6. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 2010, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2011), calculated from data in Table 1, accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls.
  7. Ibid., calculated from data in Table 29, accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl29.xls.
  8. Under the armed forces Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, “unrestricted” reporting involves a victim reporting the sexual assault to the military command and law enforcement; the crime will be investigated, and the offender may be prosecuted.
  9. Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, Fiscal Year 2010, (Arlington, VA: Department of Defense, 2011), 64, accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.sapr.mil/media/pdf/reports/DoD_Fiscal_Year_2010_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military.pdf.
  10. Under the armed forces Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, “restricted” reporting involves a victim making a confidential report to specified sexual assault response personnel; the assault is not reported to the command or law enforcement; the crime will not be investigated or prosecuted; and the victim may receive specified support and medical services.
  11. Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, 64.
  12. Ibid., 68.
  13. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States 2010, “Offenses Cleared,” accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/clearances.
  14. Allen J. Beck and Candace Johnson, Sexual Victimization Reported by Former State Prisoners, 2008, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2012), accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svrfsp08.pdf.
  15. Carlos A. Cuevas and Chiara Sabina, “Final Report: Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study,” (U.S. Department of Justice grant report, NCJ 230445, April 2010), accessed September 20, 2012, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/230445.pdf.
  16. Michele C Black et al., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report, (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011), 18, accessed September 10, 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid., 20.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid., 25.
  22. Ibid., 21.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid., 39.
  26. Ibid., 24.
  27. Ibid., 25.
  28. Ibid.