Just the Facts

  • Rape is a violent sexual act committed against a person's will.
     
  • Rape is not sex. Rape is an expression of power and control in which a person uses a sexual act as a means of violence.
     
  • Rape victims belong to both sexes, all races and ethnic groups, all economic backgrounds, and all ages.
     
  • Acquaintance rape is forced, unwanted sexual contact between a person and a known assailant- could be a boyfriend, a date, a casual friend.

Statistics

  • Rape is the fastest growing violent crime in the United States. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994)
     
  • In the United States, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. (CrimeVictims Research and Treatment Center of the National VictimsCenter, 1992)
     
  • The rate of sexual assault in the United States is the highest of any industrialized nation in the world. (Reiso and Roth, 1993)
     
  • 1 in 4 women will be a victim of sexual violence at some point in her lifetime. (Warshaw, R. 1988. I Never Called It Rape. Harper and Row.) 
     
  • Women who are raped by men they know are less likely to report the crime to the police than women who are raped by strangers. (Bachman, 1994)
     
  • Police officers are more likely to take a formal report if the offender was a stranger rather than a domestic partner, relative, or acquaintance. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1994)
     
  • 61% of all rapes occur when the victim is younger than 18 years old. (Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the National Victim Center, 1992)
     
  • One in fifteen girls become pregnant, and one in fifteen girls contract sexually transmitted diseases as a result of rape. (Koss, Woodruff, Koss study, 1990) 
     
  • 84% of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. (Warshaw, R. 1988. I Never Called It Rape. Harper and Row); 57% of all sexual assaults occur during a date. (Koss, Woodruff, Koss study, 1990) 
     
  • Spousal rape is often more violent and repetitive than other rape, and it is less likely to be reported. (Hampton, 1995)
     
  • Reported rape victims have been as old as 98 years and as young as 2 months. Women aged 16-25 are three times more likely to be raped than other women. (Harlow, 1991)
     
  • Women are more likely to report acts of violence if they sustain an injury. (Bachman and Saltzman, 1995)
     
  • Rape remains the most underreported violent crime in the United States. (Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the National Victims Center, 1992)
     
  • In the United States, a rape is reported every six minutes. However, the FBI estimates that the actual number of sexual assaults committed could be as much as 10 times higher than those actually reported to law enforcement. (Bureau of Justice. 1991. Criminal Investigation in the U.S.) 
     
  • National crime studies indicate that 10-16% of adult sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement, while only 6% of teen sexual assaults are reported. (Bureau of Justice. 1991. Criminal Investigation in the U.S.) 
     
  • Half of the defendants in reported sexual assault cases are released prior to trial. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997)
     
  • In 1992, 8 out of 10 rape defendants brought to trial pleaded guilty. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics, 1997). Convicted rapists have a recidivism rate of 67% (Bureau of Justice. 1991. Criminal Investigation in the U.S.) 
     
  • In a survey of high school students (White, Jacqueline W. and John A. Humphrey. 1991. Young People's Attitudes Toward Acquaintance Rape.):
    • 76% of the boys and 56% of the girls believed that forced sex is acceptable under some circumstances. 
       
    • of 11-14 year olds, 51% of the boys and 41% of the girls said forced sex is acceptable if the boy "spent a lot of money" on the girl. 
       
    • 87% of the boys and 79% of the girls said sexual assault is acceptable if the couple were married. 
       
    • 65% of the boys and 47% of the girls said it is acceptable for a boy to rape a girl if they had been dating for more than six months.

  • A study by Neil Malamuth found that 35% of college men would consider raping someone if were assured that they could get away with it. (Bokmer, 1993)

Common feelings experienced by rape survivors

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Loss of control
  • Embarrassment
  • Anxiety, shaking, nightmares
  • Concern for the rapist
  • Wondering--Why me?
  • Shame
  • Anger 

Every survivor of sexual assault reacts differently.

Community Action

  • Challenge sex role stereotyping that perpetuates myths about rape
     
  • Conduct educational programs in schools to raise student awareness of myths about sexual assault, prevention strategies, and the need for communication.
     
  • Support your local Rape Crisis Centers.

What to do if you are the victim of sexual violence

  • Contact a friend, relative, neighbor, teacher, counselor, or the 24 hour rape crisis hotline:
    • 452-RAPE (2293)
    • 1-800-478-7273,
    • or the UAF Center for Health and Counseling 474-7043 etc.
       
  • Do not feel alone; there are people who can give you the emotional support you need.

  • Seek medical attention.
     
  • Do not shower or clean up before seeking medical attention.
     
  • As soon as possible, go to a hospital or health center for an examination and treatment of possible venereal disease and pregnancy. You may have internal injuries of which you are unaware.
     
  • Report the attack to the police whether or not you plan to file charges. Rarely do rapists attack only one person; they may get away with it and continue to do it.
     
  • Contact local sexual assault services. You have been through a traumatic event and will benefit from dealing with your feelings. Survivors who get counseling recover from the attack quicker and
    with fewer lasting effects than survivors who get no help. 
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