Facts and Statistics
"If the occurrence of rape were audible, its decibel level equal to its frequency, it would overpower our days and nights, interrupt our meals, our bedtime stories, howl behind our love-making, an insistent jackhammer of distress. We would demand an end to it. And if we failed to locate its source, we would condemn the whole structure. We would refuse to live under such conditions." - Patricia Weaver Francisco
Sexual Assault Definitions and Myths
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- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Any genital, anal, or oral penetration, by a part of the accused's body or by an object, using force or without the victim's consent (which includes the inability to give consent due to impaired mental function caused by alcohol and/or drugs, sleep, or unconsciousness) OR
- Occurs between family members when the victim is under 18.
- Occurs when the victim is between 13 and 18 and the accused is over the age of 17 (varies between states) and is the guardian, supervisor, teacher, or baby sitter of the victim.
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
- Use or display of a weapon.
- The life of the victim or someone else's life is endangered or threatened.
- The victim is over age 60, physically handicapped, or profoundly mentally retarded.
- The perpetrator causes bodily harm to the victim.
- The attack occurs during the commission of another felony.
- Force is used, through physical violence or threat of bodily harm.
- Forced vaginal or anal penetration.
- Myths About Sexual Assault
- Rape is an uncommon problem.
- False: One in four women aged 18-24 has been or will be raped or sexually assaulted.
- Only women are the victim of sexual assault.
- False: Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16.
- Rapes are not planned.
- False: 58% to 71% of rapes are planned.
- Most victims do not know their attacker.
- False: 78% of victims know their attacker.
- It is okay to have sex with a woman who is drunk.
- False: In many states, having sex with a woman who is drunk is considered rape.
- Wives cannot be raped by their husbands.
- False: Non-consentual sex is rape. It does not matter what relationship the victim has with the attacker.
- Women "ask" to be raped.
- False: Rape is an act of violence. No woman asks to be raped. It does not matter how she dresses or acts, she is not asking to be raped.
- If a woman doesn't "fight" her assailant, she wasn't really raped.
- False: Rape is a life-threatening situation and the number one goal for a person in that situation is to stay alive.
- Survivors of rape should be able to "get over it" easily.
- False: There are long lasting effects of rape, including:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Feeling alienated from the world.
- Eating Disorders.
- Inability to engage in relationships with members of the opposite sex.
For the latest statistics, please check out RAINN's Statistics page.
There were 261,000 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault in the year 2000 (does not include victims under the age of 12), of which 114,000 were victims of sexual assault, 55,000 were victims of attempted rape, and 92,000 were victims of completed rape.
One out of every six women in American has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. About 62% of rape victims knew their assailant.
2.78 million men in American has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
Approximately 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18.
72% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
If the rape is reported to police, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.
If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.
If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.
So, even in those 28% of rapes that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.
Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5%—one out of twenty— of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 will walk free.
RAINN's Probability of Arrest Analysis
Important Information About The Uniform Crime Statistics:
For UCR reporting purposes can a male be raped?
A24. No. Sexual attacks on males should be classified as Assaults or "Other Sex Offenses," depending on the nature of the crime and the extent of injury. An Assault is a Part I offense and would be reported on Return A. " Other Sex Offenses" qualify as Part II offenses and would be reported on the appropriate age, sex, race, and ethnic origin form. (UCR Handbook, Pg. 10)
*This is important because: 1) it is archaic and idiotic that the rape of a man is not considered a "real rape" and 2) The UCR statistics are inherently flawed because of this and because of the way in which crime statistics are calculated. The formula for any crime's rate is to first take the total number of crimes reported, divide that by the total population, and then multiply your answer by 100,000. The first problem with the UCR, then, is that a large number of rapes aren't included in the total number of crimes reported, and so that piece of the equation is lower than it should be. The second problem is that the total population still includes males -- it is the TOTAL population, even though the number of rapes included is drawn from only HALF the population. That piece of the equation is now twice as large as it should be if only the "carnal knowledge of a female" is included. The final number is ridiculously lower than the incidence of rape actually is.*
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated total of 93,103 forcible rapes (defined as carnal knowledge of a female forcibly against her will. Assaults or attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape without force and other offenses are not included) were reported to law enforcement during 1998.
About one in three rape reports led to an arrest -- there were an estimated 31,070 arrests made for rape in the year.
The FBI report includes only those rapes actually reported to law enforcement. According to the US Department of Justice, about one in three rapes are reported, which means the FBI's estimate for forcible rapes in 1998 is 279,309.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is raped every 2 minutes in America
In 1996, 307,000 women were the victim of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault (of which only 31% were reported to law enforcement officials - less than one in every three. and between 1995 and 1996, more than 670,000 women were the victim of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
Approximately 68% of rape victims knew their assailant.
One of every four rapes take place in a public area or in a parking garage.
68% of rapes occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Approximately one-third of all juvenile victims of sexual abuse cases are children younger than 6 years of age.
Teens 16 to 19 were three and one-half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
In 1995, 32,130 males age 12 and older were victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
*The previous statistics are courtesy of RAINN*
* For the current statistics on sexual assault, read the US Department of Justice's Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault *