Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Statistics

As has been discussed at this site, April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I think in order to understand why such a month exists, we need to look at some statistics to see the scope of the problem. These come from takebackthenight.org. (This PDF lists sources.)

● 1 out of 6 American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
(14.8 percent completed rape; 2.8 percent attempted rape.)
● 17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.
● 9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.
● While about 80 percent of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked.
● 7 percent of girls in grades 5-8 and 12 percent of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
● Victims of rape 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.
● 64,080 women were raped in 2004-2005.
● 17.2 percent of 8,000 women surveyed said they were raped. 21.6 percent of them were under the age of 12 when first raped. Another 32.4 percent said they were raped between the ages of 12 and 17. So, 54 percent of women said they were raped before the age of 18.
● Only one-third of victimized women receive treatment for injuries; 35.6 percent during their most recent rape, and 30.2 percent during their most recent assault.
● 51.9 percent of women said they were physically assaulted. 1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United States.

Here are some stats about men who are sexually assaulted, from RAINN (see more stats here):
● About 3 percent of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
● In 2003, 1 in every ten rape victims were male.
● 2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape.

So yeah. It is a Problem.

2 comments:

Dolly said...

I feel like many of my friends don't believe the statistic "1 in 6" - it's time for survivors to stop stigmatizing themselves as damaged and make others aware that yes, rape is real, and yes, it happens to people you know.

RosieRed23 said...

I feel that way too, that people don't believe that statistic. It's hard to get a handle on what that statistic truly means, so it's easier for a lot of people to just say "that can't be true," and move on.

I wish survivors didn't feel stigmatized either, but the fact is, they often are, in all kinds of ways by all kinds of people. Even when a survivor comes does have the capacity to come forward and speak out, people can too easily brush that person aside with a little victim blaming. (Not saying that always happens, just that it does more often than not.)

I don't know what it will take to ultimately turn this culture around, but certainly less stigmatizing (self and otherwise) would be a great start.

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