April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Learn more about sexual assault from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
How often does sexual assault occur?
In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.1 (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.)
Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
Here’s the math. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey — the country’s largest and most reliable crime study — there were 248,300 sexual assaults in 2007 (the most recent data available).
There are 525,600 minutes in a non-leap year. That makes 31,536,000 seconds/year. So, 31,536,000 divided by 248,300 comes out to 1 sexual assault every 127 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes.
Sexual assault has fallen by more than 60% in recent years.2 Had the 1993 rate held steady, 6.8 million Americans would have been assaulted in the last 13 years.
But, thanks to the decline, the actual number of victims was about 4.2 million. In other words, if not for the historic gains we’ve made in the last decade, an additional 2,546,420 Americans would have become victims of sexual violence.