April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Learn more about who experiences sexual assault, according to statistics by the Rape, Abuse & Incest, National Network.
Who are the Victims?
Breakdown by Gender and Age
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).1
17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.1
9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.2
While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked.
Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:1
- All women: 17.6%
- White women: 17.7%
- Black women: 18.8%
- Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
- American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
- Mixed race women: 24.4%
About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.1
- In 2003, 1 in every ten rape victims were male.2
- 2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape.1
15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.3
- 29% are age 12-17.
- 44% are under age 18.3
- 80% are under age 30.3
- 12-34 are the highest risk years.
- Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.4
- 3% of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse.5
- Of these, 75% were girls.
- Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7.
93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.6
- 34.2% of attackers were family members.
- 58.7% were acquaintances.
- Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.
Effects of Rape
Victims of sexual assault are:7
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Pregnancies Resulting from Rape
In 2004-2005, 64,080 women were raped.8 According to medical reports, the incidence of pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5%. By applying the pregnancy rate to 64,080 women, RAINN estimates that there were 3,204 pregnancies as a result of rape during that period.
This calculation does not account for the following factors which could lower the actual number of pregnancies:
- Rape, as defined by the NCVS, is forced sexual intercourse. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Certain types of rape under this definition cannot cause pregnancy.
- Some victims of rape may be utilizing birth control methods, such as the pill, which will prevent pregnancy.
- Some rapists may wear condoms in an effort to avoid DNA detection.
- Vicims of rape may not be able to become pregnant for medical or age-related reasons.
This calculation does not account for the following factors which could raise the actual number of pregnancies:
- Medical estimates of a 5% pregnancy rate are for one-time, unprotected sexual intercourse. Some victimizations may include multiple incidents of intercourse.
- Because of methodology, NCVS does not measure the victimization of Americans age 12 or younger. Rapes of these young people could results in pregnancies not accounted for in RAINN’s estimates.
- National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey. 1998.
- U.S. Department of Justice. 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2003.
- U.S. Department of Justice. 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2004.
- 1998 Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. 1998.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. 1995 Child Maltreatment Survey. 1995.
- U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2000 Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement. 2000.
- World Health Organization. 2002.
- U.S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2005.