Information/Statistics about Sexual Assault

Myths and Facts about Sexual Assault

Myth: Rape is most often perpetrated by a stranger.
Fact: A woman is statistically more likely to be raped by someone she knows.

Myth: If there was no penetration by a penis, then there was no rape.
Fact: Legal definitions of rape vary by state. Rape = penetration with a penis, fingers, and/or foreign objects.

Myth: Women cannot be raped by their husbands/partners.
Fact: Women are raped by their husbands or partners. Even if there is consent in the past, rape can occur on a situation-to-situation basis.

Myth: Rape only happens to young women.
Fact: Women of all ages are raped.

Myth: Rape cannot happen in same-gender relationships.
Fact: Rape can occur in same-gender relationships as well as in heterosexual relationships.

Myth: Men cannot be raped.
Fact: Although men are less likely to report, men can be and are raped by other men and by women.

Myth: If a woman drinks with a man, goes home with him, or wears skimpy clothing, it is her fault if she is raped.
Fact: It is never her fault. No one asks or deserves to be raped. Rape is a violent attack and a crime in which the perpetrator controls the victim.

Sexual Assault Statistics

  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 94,635 women reported being raped in 2004. That is approximately 1 in 10 women report being sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime (Suris, Lind, Kashner, Borman, & Petty, 2004).
  • According to the 2004 report of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), studies indicated that 9% of girls and 6% of boys had already experienced some sort of dating violence before they reached high school. The same study found that 1 out of every 10 girls and 1 out of every 20 boys reported that they had experienced violence and/or rape while on a date.
  • A national study of college students conducted by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reported that 27.5% of the women surveyed said that they had suffered rape or attempted rape at least once since age 14.
  • According to the 2000 population report, between 1/3 and 2/3 of known sexual assault victims are age 15 or younger.

Physical Impact of Sexual Assault

  • Physical injury
  • Sexually-transmitted disease
  • Pregnancy
  • General health risk
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Psychological symptoms perceived as physical

 Psychological Impact of Sexual Assault

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Impact on partners, family, and close friends