One in Five U.S. Women Raped during their Lifetime

Thursday, September 11, 2014

About one-fifth of American women have been raped during their lifetimes, according to the nation’s leading health research agency, which released other disturbing statistics about sexual violence in the United States.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using data reported in 2011, determined that 19.3% of women had been raped during their lifetimes. Forty-four percent have endured “other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes, including being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and noncontact unwanted sexual experiences,” the CDC reported.


Researchers also found that 79% of rape victims were attacked before the age of 25, with 40% of attacks occurring to those under 18. Intimate partners committed a substantial number of sexual attacks on women; 9% of women were raped by an intimate partner with 16% of women suffering other forms of sexual assault by a partner.


Stalking is a prevalent form of sexual violence. About 15% of female respondents reported having been stalked at some time in their lives, with about 4% having been stalked in the previous year.


“Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important public health problems that affect the lives of millions of persons in the United States,” the CDC says. “These forms of violence can lead to serious short- and long-term consequences including physical injury, poor mental health, and chronic physical health problems. For some persons, violence victimization results in hospitalization, disability, or death. Furthermore, previous research indicates that victimization as a child or adolescent increases the likelihood that victimization will reoccur in adulthood.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization — National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011 (by Matthew J. Breiding, Sharon G. Smith, Kathleen C. Basile, Mikel L. Walters, Jieru Chen and Melissa T. Merrick, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

More than a Million Rapes in U.S. not Counted in Statistics Due to Police Mislabeling of Sexual Assaults (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)


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