Sexualized Violence Statistics

  • An estimated 91% of victims of rape & sexual assault are female and 9% male. Nearly 99% of perpetrators are male. 1 This US Dept. of Justice statistic does not report those who do not identify in these gender boxes.
  • Around the world, at least 1 woman in every 3 has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family or is her partner. 2
  • Only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned. 3
  • Approximately 80-85% of completed rapes are committed by someone who is known to the victim/survivor. 4
  • 42% of gay, lesbian and bisexual university students in one sample reported they had been forced to have sex against their will compared to 21% of heterosexual students in the same study. 5
  • While 80% of reported rapes are against white women, minorities are more likely to be assaulted. Rates of rape: White-17.7%, Black: 18.8%, Asian/Pacific Islander-6.8%, American Indian/Alaskan Women-34.1%, Mixed Race-24.4%. The stats for non-whites are probably low, since barriers to reporting would be increased for women of color. 6
  • American Indian women are the only ethnic group more likely to be assaulted by a male outside their own ethnicity. 7
  • It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys by age 18 will have been the victim of some form of sexualized violence. 8
  • Women who were sexually assaulted by current or former male partners were significantly more likely to present with physical injuries than women assaulted by acquaintances. 9
  • Women reporting rape within a relationship report an average of 20 sexual assaults during that relationship. 9
  • Among developmentally disabled adults, as many as 83% of females and 32% of males have been sexually assaulted. 9
  • Of 22 substances used in drug facilitated rapes, alcohol is the most common finding in investigations of drug facilitated sexual assault cases. 10
  • For individuals with psychiatric disabilities, the rate of violent victimization including sexual assault is 2 times greater than the general population. 11
  • Lifetime risk for violent victimization including sexual assault for women who live with homelessness and mental illness is 97%. 12

These statistics were compiled by the North Coast Rape Crisis Team


1 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Violence Against Women Report, 2002.

2 Population Information Program, Population Reports: Ending Violence Against Women, 2004.

3 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: Conviction & Imprisonment Statistics, 1993.

4 This is an often quoted percentage, replicated in numerous studies including: FBI Crime in the US, 2004; California Dept. of Justice, 2005, Crime in California; Tjaden & Thoennes, Prevalence, Incident & Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998, 2003; and local statistics from the North Coast Rape Crisis Team.

5 Duncan, David, “Prevalence of Sexual Assault Victimization Among Heterosexual and Gay/Lesbian University Students.” Psychological Reports. 66.1 (1990): 65-66. Web.

6 “Statisitics.” RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Invest National Network, n.d. Web. 2008.

7 Amnesty International Publications. Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA. New York: Amnesty International USA, 2007.

8 Finkelhor, David, Gerald Hotaling, I.A. Lewis, and Christine Smith. "Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics and Risk Factors." Child Abuse and Neglect. 14.1 (1990): 19-28. Web.

9 Johnson, Ida M., and Robert T. Sigler. “Forced Sexual Intercourse Among Intimates.” Journal of Family Violence. 15.1 (2000): 95-108. Web.

10 McGregor, Margaret J., Janet Ericksen, Lisa A. Ronald, Patricia A. Janssen, Anneke Van Vliet, Michael Schulzer. “An Exploratory Analysis of Suspected Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Seen in a Hospital Emergency Department.” Women & Health. 37.3 (2003): 71-80. Web.

11 Hidday, Virginia Aldigé, Martin S. Swartz, Jeffrey W. Swanson, Randy Borum, and Ryan H. Wagner. “Criminal Victimization of Persons With Severe Mental Illness.” Psychiatric Services. 50.1 (1999): 62-68. Web.

12 Goodman, Lisa A., Mary Ann Dutton, and Maxine Harris. “Episodically Homeless Women with Serious Mental Illness: Prevalence of Physical and Sexual Assault.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 65.4 (1995). 468-475. Web.

A note about statistics: We acknowledge that many important statistics are not included in this brief list. We also acknowledge that statistics are only a starting place to begin a conversation and rather than debating exact numbers, we hope they are helpful in looking at trends.