Since April of every year is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we felt it would be appropriate to post some statistics regarding sexual assault to help raise awareness of these staggering numbers. The following statistics were published by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault in By the Numbers: Sexual Violence Statistics.
Sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact. Women and men of all ages, as well as children, can be victimized by sexual assault. A rapist may be a stranger, an acquaintance or a relative of a victim.
There is no boundary for who might be raped. Almost 18%, or 17.7 million women, in the United States have been victims of rape or attempted rape sometime in their lives. Of the 12.1 million who have been raped, 39%, or 4.7 million women, were raped more than once.
Victims of sexual assault might take years to recover from the physical and psychological effects caused by the rape. Victims may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Victims often experience a sense of shame, humiliation and self-blame, which may lead them to keep rape a secret.
Below are some interesting data regarding sexual assault in the state of Illinois.
- Adult child abusers have 10 times more victims than offenders who rape adults. Child abusers have an average of 76 victims; a rapist has an average of seven.
- According to recent data from the U.S. Justice Department, there were no significant differences in the rate of rape/sexual assault among racial groups.
- Persons with disabilities are at 1.5 to 5 times the risk of sexual abuse and assault as are members of the general population.
- 61% of rape victims were sexually assaulted before the age of 18
- 90% of rape victims under age 13 knew their attacker
- One third of rape victims have seriously considered suicide, and 13% actually attempt it
- 25% of incest survivors become pregnant as a result of the incest.
- 74% of women who excessively use alcohol experience sexual abuse.
- 50% of women treated for substance abuse were sexually abused as children.
- Most men who sexually abuse boys define their sexual orientation as heterosexual.
- 66% of all prostitutes are victims of child sexual abuse; 2/3 of these are sexually abused by fathers, stepfathers, or foster fathers.
- 40% of child sexual abuse victims seek mental health treatment after reaching adulthood.
- Psychological effects of child sexual abuse often last into adulthood. Adult survivors of child sexual abuse may exhibit depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, dissociation, and low self-esteem.
- Emotional and behavioral symptoms exhibited by adult survivors of child sexual abuse can include: major depression, adjustment disorder, alcohol or other substance abuse, personality disorders, multiple personality disorder and psychosexual dysfunctions.
- Ritual abuse is often initiated by family members who abuse their own children. These abusers may have been abused children themselves.
- More than 70% of rape or sexual assault victims knew their attackers, compared to about half of all violent crime victims.
Unfortunately, these are the facts. Hopefully, with heightened awareness of sexual assault, we can eradicate the problem by not avoiding the issues.