Unfortunately, very few women take the possibility of falling victim to crimes like rape and sexual assault seriously. As a result, little is done from the standpoint of prevention and safety. In our opinion, awareness, communication and preparation are the best ways to help women everywhere increase their personal safety situation. A start is to share the following facts from The Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center (STAR) http://www.brrcc.org/
An average 233,986 Americans age 12 and older are sexually assaulted each year. Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
Who Are the Victims?
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Among all victims, about nine out of ten are female.
1 out of every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his lifetime. About 10% of all victims are male.
Age of sexual assault victims:
- 15% are under age 12
- 29% are age 12-17
- 44% are under age 18
- 80% are under age 30
- Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years
- Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault
Estimated persons raped in lifetime by gender and race:
- 17.7% of white women
- 18.8% of African-American women
- 6.8% of Asian / Pacific Islander women
- 34.1% of American Indian / Alaskan Native women
- 24.4% mixed race women
- 14.6% of Hispanic women
- 2.8% of white men
- 3.3% of African-American men
- 4.4% of mixed race men
- The sample size was too small to estimate for Asian/ Pacific Islander and American Indian / Alaskan Native men
Effects of Rape
100% of completed rapes, 39% of attempted rapes, and 17% sexual assaults against females result in injured victims.
- 33% of victims sustain minor (bruises and chipped teeth) physical injuries
- 5% of victims sustain major (broken bones and gunshot wounds) injuries
- 61% of victims sustain undetermined injuries
Only around 36% of injured victims receive medical care
Victims of sexual assault are:
- 3 times more likely to suffer from depression
- 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
- 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol
- 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
- 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide
Occurrence of Sexual Assaults
The number of rapes reported is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, with a slight increase in August (around 9%) and the fewest in December (around 7%).
Time of day sexual assaults occur:
- 43% between 6:00pm and midnight
- 33% between 6:00am and 6:00pm
- 24% between midnight and 6:00am
Nearly 6 out of 10 sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred in their own home or at the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor.
Reporting to Police
There were 90,427 forcible rapes reported to police in 2007. Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, with an average of 39% being reported to the police each year.
When victims of rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault did not report the crime to the police, the most often cited reasons were:
- personal matter (23.3%)
- fear of reprisal (16.3%)
- police biased (5.8%)
- personal matter (16.8%)
- fear of reprisal (11.3%)
- protect offender (9.9%)
Completed and attempted sexual assault:
- personal matter (25.3%)
- reported to different official (12.4%)
- fear of reprisal (11.3%)
The closer the relationship between the female victim and the offender, the greater the likelihood that the incident will not be reported. When the offender was a current or former husband or boyfriend, about 75% of all victimization’s were not reported to police.
When the offender was a friend or acquaintance, an average 71% were not reported. When the offender was a stranger, an average 44% were not reported.
Almost 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
- 23% of rapists are an intimate
- 3% are another relative
- 38% are a friend or acquaintance
- 31% are a stranger
- 6% are unknown
Only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail. The average age of an arrested rapist is 31 years old.
- 0.6% are 17 years old or younger
- 54.6% are 18 to 29 years old
- 28.6% are 30 to 39 years old
- 8.9% are 40 to 49 years old
- 7.3% are 50 years old or older
Marital status of arrested rapists.
- 22.1% are married
- 1.2% are widowed
- 28.5% are divorced
- 6.2% are separated
- 42% are never married
Convicted rapists made up 1.2% of the 272,111 state prisoners released in 1994, and 46% of these released rapists were rearrested within three years for some type of felony or serious misdemeanor.
National Sexual Assault Hotline: