Updated: Apr 8, 2019
This can be a very sensitive subject because of the trauma and anguish associated with sexual assault. I wanted to share and weigh in on some facts and statistics regarding sexual assault to remind and inform you of the severity and frequency of sexual abuse. Here goes...
Rape is the most under-reported crime according to NSVRC.org (Nations Sexual Violence Resource Center).
It is reported that 63% of rapes are not reported to the police. This can be for many reasons. Sometimes it is because of shame and embarrassment, or can even be due to the victim not wanting to relive the trauma. Either way, 63% is a lot, so keep that in mind as I continue to share a few sexual assault statistics with you.
NSVRC reports that one in five women will be raped in their lifetime, compared to one in 71 men.
That is a drastic difference, but this is the world that we live in. Many people do not know the definition of sexual assault and sometimes do not realize when they have been assaulted. Sexual assault is not only rape. Sexual assault is ANY type of sexual conduct that one party does not consent to.
According to NSVRC, 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance - so basically, nearly half the time, rape is committed by someone you know personally or someone you may have known only briefly.
Citing NSVRC, 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male. It is very important as women to be careful and to watch our surroundings. Men, according to their physical bodies, are proven to be stronger than females. This, I assume is the reason for the drastic difference in the number of females being assaulted compared to males.
"One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old," says NSVRC. This is so scary! It is so important to pay attention to our children when they say they are uncomfortable being around certain individuals. Kids have been known to be abused by family members 34% of the time according to NSVRC.
Let's talk about college-aged students. More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault and nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment. This goes to show how frequent sexual abuse happens and it is disheartening to know that many of the victims in these cases suffer alone.
Sexual assault is known to have long-term effects on the victims. 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). RAINN also reports that 30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape. 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide. 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide. Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime, and people who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public. It is reported that victims are
3.4 times more likely to use marijuana, 6 times more likely to use cocaine, and 10 times more likely to use other major drugs.
As this month goes along, take a moment to think about the victims that you may not realize are victims. As previously stated, often times, sexual abuse goes unreported, so many people are suffering in silence. Hopefully, this article brings light to the facts regarding sexual abuse and assault. You never know who is a victim, so be cautious of your words and actions. If you happen to know someone that is a victim, try reaching out to them to do a wellness check just to see how they are doing.
Check out this powerful Facebook live video with Sarah Rezonzew, founder of Finding Your Brave Voice, which is a blog that empowers women and brings awareness to sensitive issues such as sexual assault and sexual abuse. Sarah's story is so amazing. Watch as she shares her experience as a victim of sexual assault, and find out how she coped.