Each year approximately 207,754 sexual assaults occur in the United States (RAINN). However, despite that astounding number, sexual assault is still not widely discussed.
To conclude Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please read this list of 10 things you might not know about sexual assault. Sexual assault is not just rape or attempted rape — it is any unwanted sexual contact or advances, preventing someone or being prevented from using birth control and/or rough or violent sexual behavior. Read the definition from The National Center for Victims of Crime to learn more.
1. One in every 10 sexual assault victims is male (RAINN).
2. Sexual assault occurs as often during the daytime as it does during the night (Stanford Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Prevention & Support).
3. Forty-four percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18. Eighty percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30 (RAINN).
4. Victims of sexual assault are more prone to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, trouble sleeping and anxiety disorders (CDC).
5. Two-thirds of assaults are perpetrated by someone whom the victim knows. Thirty-eight percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim (RAINN).
6. Nearly one in four women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime (National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence).
7. Half of all sexual assaults happen within one mile of the victim’s home (RAINN).
8. Out of every 100 sexual assaults, only 46 get reported to the police. Out of those 46 reports, only 12 will lead to an arrest. Out of those 12 arrests, only nine attackers will be prosecuted.
9. Out of those prosecutions, only five will lead to a felony conviction. Despite those five convictions, only three of the perpetrators spend a single day in jail. That means that 97 attackers walk away unscathed (RAINN).
10. Some good news: the instances of sexual assault have decreased nearly 60 percent since 2000, although they are still staggeringly high (U.S. Department of Justice).
Despite the decrease in frequency over the past decade, sexual assault is still an extremely prevalent and pervasive crime in the United States. Please take a moment today to spread awareness about this critical issue.