Sexual assault statistics reveal an uncomfortable truth — millions of people of any age and gender suffer abuse every year. And while the unpleasantness of the subject has made it easy to ignore, there is an increasing necessity to address the issue.
A big problem related to sexual assault cases is the high level of underreporting. Victims often fear both the perpetrator and society’s reaction. That’s why raising awareness and providing a safe space for sexual abuse survivors to speak up is of utmost significance.
We have gathered some sexual harassment statistics to outline the depth of the problem.
Sexual Assault Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- In the United States, there is a new victim of sexual abuse every 68 seconds
- More than 50% of raped women have been assaulted by their partners
- Around 13% of college students are victims of violent sexual assaults
- Almost 50% of transgender people have been victims of sexual assault
- In 2020, the rate of reported child molestation increased by 22%
- Every year, around 60 000 children suffer sexual abuse
- About 20% of women in the United States have been raped
- Approximately 7.14% of men were forced to penetrate someone else against their will
Sexual Assault Statistics by Gender
As defined by the US Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), the term “sexual violence” refers to any sexual activity that doesn’t include both individuals’ consent.
Sexual violence statistics are in constant growth, yet, the rates are distinct for different genders and sexual orientations.
1. Every 68 seconds, a person suffers a sexual assault in the US.
The most recent sexual harassment statistics indicate that in a year, 734 630 people suffered rape in the US. In eight out of ten cases, the victim knew the perpetrator.
Often, the molester is the victim’s partner, or family member, especially when it comes to children’s sexual assaults.
2. One in five women in the US has been raped.
Sexual assault statistics reveal that 21.3% of all women in the US have experienced sexual abuse.
Even though assaults against men happen with less frequency, they do occur. Sexual abuse statistics estimate that approximately 2.6% of US men are victims of rape.
Over 28 million people in the US have suffered rape in their lifetime — 25.5 million females and 2.8 million males, meaning approximately nine out of ten victims are female.
3. Over half of raped women have been assaulted by their partners.
Sexual assault statistics reveal that an intimate partner is responsible for 51.1% of female abuse cases. In addition, 40.8% of women were raped by an acquaintance.
Rape underreporting is a severe problem due to the victims’ connection to the rapist and consequent fear of further violence.
Sexual assault stats show that 52.4% of raped men were assaulted by an acquaintance and 15.1% — by a stranger.
4. One in 14 men was forced to penetrate someone else against their will.
Statistics on sexual assault show that 79% of male victims forced to penetrate another person were assaulted by a woman, while 87% of those who were raped — by a man.
Overall, one in four men has experienced an unwanted sexual encounter. That includes everything from unsolicited exposure to pornography to rape.
5. Females aged 16-19 are four times more likely to become victims of sexual abuse compared to the general population.
Stats on sexual abuse show that young women aged 16 to 24 are especially likely to experience some form of sexual assault.
The majority of all rape victims are female — in 82% of the juvenile and 90% of the adult cases.
6. 70% of rape survivors experience severe PTSD.
Sexual assault data shows 45% of the victims suffer from reoccurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.
Depression and flashbacks of the assault are some of the most common aftereffects. Eating and sleep disorders often appear, as well as dissociation and panic attacks. In some cases, the victim might resort to self-harm and suicide.
In physical terms, rape can result in unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Other expected consequences of an assault are non-epileptic seizures and chronic pain.
Sexual Assault Reporting Statistics
Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime. But the victim’s silence is not the only reason why most molesters don’t end up in prison.
7. Less than one out of three sexual assault victims report to the police.
Unfortunately, national rape statistics reveal that most rape cases don’t make it to the police station, let alone the courthouse. The reasons why women don’t report these assaults are because they feel ashamed or afraid to tell anyone about it.
8. 972 of 1000 perpetrators will walk free.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of perpetrators will walk free. Unreported sexual assault statistics show that out of every 1000 victims, only 310 go to the police.
From these cases, only 50 lead to arrest, and 28 — to a felony conviction.
9. Only 6000 out of 20,500 military members, who suffered sexual assault, reported it.
Sexual assault in the military statistics reveal that one in 16 women and one in 143 men face sexual assault within the Department of Defense (DoD). Moreover, the percentage of women sexually assaulted at the service academies is 16.67%.
Sexual Assault on College Campuses Statistics
Even though the topic is considered taboo, sexual harassment on college campuses happens often.
10. 13% of college students have experienced violent sexual assault.
9.7% of female and 2.5% of male graduate or professional students have been assaulted through aggressive means.
Stats on sexual harassment show that only 20% of female victims (aged 18-24) report the abuse.
Among the common reasons for underreporting are the victim’s unwillingness to talk about the experience (26%), fear of reprisal (20%), underestimation of the event (12%), and protection of the perpetrator (10%).
11. Over 50% of college rape cases happen during the fall semester.
The odds of a woman being sexually assaulted on campuses are exceptionally high at the beginning of their first semester. That is why half of all sexual assaults happen in August, September, October, or November.
LGBT Sexual Assault Statistics
Members of the LGBT community suffer a great deal of social injustice. Sadly, they are among the most endangered demographic groups to experience sexual assault.
12. 47% of transgender people have suffered sexual assault.
Nearly half of all transgender people have experienced sexual abuse at least once in their lives.
US sexual assault statistics reveal that transgender people of color suffer prevailing rates of abuse. 65% of American Indians, 58% of Middle Eastern, 53% of Black, and 59% of multiracial representatives of the community have been victims of assault.
13. 20% of transgender prisoners have been raped by facility staff.
Over one-fifth of transgender people in jails, prisons, or juvenile detention centers have been subjected to sexual abuse by staff members.
Victims of sexual assault statistics reveal that 17% of the transgender homeless people who stayed at shelters were molested there.
Child Sexual Assault Statistics
In most cases of child molestation, a member or close acquaintance of the family is the perpetrator.
14. Annually, nearly 60 000 children suffer sexual assault.
Child and teenage rape statistics reveal that Child Protective Services receives evidence of sexual abuse every nine minutes.
15. The rate of reported child molestation cases rose by 22% in 2020.
Sexual abuse statistics pinpoint that by the end of March 2020, 22% more minors reported sexual abuse.
67% of the victims identified a family member as the perpetrator, and 79% said they were currently living with the molester.
Both significant numbers of men and women suffer sexual abuse every year. Yet, sadly, most of the cases remain unreported or without a conviction.
Disturbing as it might seem, the majority of the perpetrators are someone close to the victim — a family member, partner, acquaintance, or coworker.
Prevention strategies and awareness of the issue can help decrease the numbers and show much-needed support towards the victims.
People Also Ask
Any sexual act or behavior without the explicit consent of all the parties involved is a sexual assault.
It is a misunderstanding that “sexual assault” refers only to rape.
Some other forms of sexual abuse include unsolicited physical touch, forced sexual acts, and attempted rape.
There is no simple answer to why sexual assaults occur. The essential thing to note is that it is never the victim’s fault. No matter how the victim dresses, looks, or behaves, there is no justification for sexual assault.
Some aspects of the perpetrator’s background are important to consider. Sexual assault demographics indicate a large number of abusers have suffered sexual molestation in their past.
Gender-based stereotypes can also be a reason. A certain number of male perpetrators have been raised to believe they have a right to treat women as subordinate to them and don’t perceive sexual abuse as an act of violence.
Similar is the case with female abusers who force males to perform unwanted penetration.
One in every five women has suffered sexual violence at least once in her lifetime.
There are over 28 million rape victims in the US — 25.5 million women and 2.8 million men. Approximately nine out of ten victims are female.
Less than 33% of sexual assault cases are reported to the police, making it the least reported type of crime.
The conviction rate is low as well — only 25 in a thousand perpetrators end up in prison.
Even though every state has a different sentencing scheme, the federal law states a maximum of 20 years in prison and a financial fine.
The convicted perpetrator has to reimburse the victim’s expenses directly related to the crime, such as lawyer fees, medical care, psychiatric therapy, etc.
Specific unsolicited actions — discussion of sexual activities, obscene gestures, comments, sending explicit images, and initiating physical touch — can lead to a lawsuit. If it gets to court, it is considered sexual battery, and in some states, it can result in up to 150 days of jail time.
Sexual assault statistics reveal that in most cases, the perpetrator faces no consequences.