Sexual Abuse Statistics in the United States

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Sexual abuse is a serious issue that affects individuals of all ages and genders. Unfortunately, sexual abuse happens more frequently than anyone wishes to think. Here are some relevant sexual abuse statistics collected by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

  • One in five women in the United States experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime.
  • Nearly a quarter (24.8%) of men in the U.S. experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.
  • One in three female victims of completed or attempted rape experienced it for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • About one in four male victims of completed or attempted rape first experienced it between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • It is estimated that 734,630 people were raped (including threatened, attempted, or completed rape) in the U.S. in 2018.
  • Almost one in four undergraduate women experienced sexual assault or misconduct at 33 of the nation’s major universities.
  • The estimated lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 per victim.

The following are additional statistics about sexual abuse obtained from online resources:

  • Prevalence: According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010, approximately 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States reported experiencing rape at some point in their lives. These numbers do not include other forms of sexual abuse, such as sexual assault, molestation, or harassment.
  • Child Sexual Abuse: The prevalence of child sexual abuse is also a significant concern. The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. However, it’s important to note that these numbers are based on reported cases, and the actual prevalence may be higher.
  • Reporting: Sexual abuse is often underreported. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, an estimated 230 are reported to the police. The reasons for underreporting can vary and include fear of retaliation, shame, guilt, mistrust of the justice system, and trauma-related factors.

These statistics are based on available data as of June of 2023. It’s important to consider that sexual abuse affects individuals across all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, it is recommended to seek support from a professional organization or helpline dedicated to assisting survivors of sexual violence.

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