Sexual Assault In The United States
Every 68 Seconds, an American is Sexually Assaulted.
Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. While we’re making progress, even today, only 25 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.
- On average, there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.1
- Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.
- As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
- 82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.
- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.3
- Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.
Men and Boys Are Also Affected by Sexual Violence
Although our society sees sexual assault as predominantly a crime against women, men are sexually assaulted too. Stereotypes that tie masculinity to sex can make it difficult to separate the sex act from the crime of sexual assault. Sexual assault is equally devastating to men and women. Regardless of gender identity, victims and survivors commonly feel rage, shame, guilt, powerlessness, fear for your safety and physical suffering.
- As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.
- About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.5
- 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.
Myths About Sexual Assault Against Men
“Real” men are always able to resist sexual assault.
Just like women, men can freeze during sexual assault. Drugs, alcohol, the threat of violence or presence of a weapon can also prevent a man from fighting their assailant.
Men are only sexually assaulted by other men.
Sexual assault can include any unwanted sexual contact, not just penetration. Therefore, a woman can sexually assault a man.”
Men are always looking for or willing to engage in sexual activity.
Consent to sexual activity must be expressly given by a man the same as a woman. Not wanting to engage doesn’t make someone “less of a man.”
Men who get an erection or ejaculate during sexual assault enjoyed it or gave consent.
Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that can’t be controlled and can even result from stress. These responses can be confusing for a man who has been sexually assaulted and can make him wonder if he really did enjoy or want the sexual contact. An erection or ejaculation does not equal consent.
Gay men are more likely to assault other men, and all men who sexually assault other men are gay.
Sexual assault is about exerting power or control over someone, not lust or sexual attraction. Heterosexual men can and do sexually assault other men.
Pervasive misconceptions about male sexual assault against men can create a harsh environment for victims. Most importantly, men are sexually assaulted, they do experience strong emotions in the aftermath, and they are entitled to the same medical, legal and emotional support as people who identify as women
If you are a sexually assaulted person who identifies as a man, it’s critical to recognize that you are a victim and survivor of a violent assault – no matter what you look like, your age, size, the strength of your character, or sexual orientation. This applies whether the assault was recent or at a young age. No one has the right to violate or control another person’s body, ever.
Transgender Students Are At Higher Risk For Sexual Violence
Sexual violence affects every demographic and every community – including LGBTQ people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience sexual violence at similar or higher rates than straight people.
The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.
Among people of color, American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%) and Black (53%) respondents of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey were most likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime
Nearly half (48 percent) of bisexual women who are rape survivors experienced their first rape between ages 11 and 17.
- 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males.
Sexual Assault In The Military
- 6,053 military members reported experiencing sexual assault during military service in FY 2018. DoD estimates about 20,500 service members experienced sexual assault that year.
- DoD estimates 6.2% of active duty women and 0.7% of active duty men experienced sexual assault in FY 2018.
Sexual Violence Affects Thousands of Prisoners Across the Country
An estimated 80,600 inmates each year experience sexual violence while in prison or jail.
- 60% of all sexual violence against inmates is perpetrated by jail or prison staff.15
- More than 50% of the sexual contact between inmate and staff member—all of which is illegal—is nonconsensual.
I realize that in the United States many of us are firmly against sexual assault, do you agree? You realize that I didn’t say all. I have found myself in conversations with men from my own community who is for sexual assault. They want to package it in the form of dating and/or marriage and they consider sex to be a duty of the woman and or child. Yes these men are sick. They actually are on Youtube having these conversations for everyone to hear and see. They have found other sick people of like minds and because of this they claim that it must be normal for them to feel this way. After listening to their backgrounds (many of them) they have something in common. Many of them have been to jail and or prison. Now the plot thickens. In the US many of us think that rape culture is acceptable. In fact, I myself have said things like, he will get his punishment in jail, meaning he will get raped the way he forcibly raped his victim. I now sit back as I’m writing this article and I ask myself….Am I also a part of the problem?
Are We Ok With Prison Rape Culture?
Just Detention International is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. Go check out their organization to learn how we can make a change. It starts with our through process. If sexual assault is something that shouldn’t be allowed. We need to stop thinking it is ok during certain situations.
Long-Term Effects on Victims of Sexual Assault
This topic is very touchy for me. I am willing to share my experiences and we can break down my actions, decisions making process and how I view the world being an sexual assaults victim. I am more then willing to share in order to help others to detect, prevent and/or live after being victimized. I have shared my story a few times but for my website I want to create a special podcast/conversation so anyone/everyone can listen to. If you would like to participate in this conversation, make sure to join the mailing list. I will be setting this conversation up in September 2021 and maybe having a conversation monthly there after for those who would love to participate.