32 Disheartening Sexual Assault Statistics for 2020

At present, sexual assaults are the most prevalent crimes in the US, yet also the most underreported.

Over the last two decades, much work has been dedicated to change the landscape of sexual assault and to empower victims of this type of crime. 

But the thing is:

Despite several helpful, progressive reforms, sexual assault statistics reflect that many crimes are still not fully addressed or understood. 

Which is why:

It is important that we analyze and address the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach with the help of the latest sexual harassment statistics in order to understand what needs improving and where.

With that said, let’s dive right in.

Alarming Sexual Violence Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • One of the most shocking facts about sexual assault is that approximately only 5% of sexual assault reports filed have been proven false.
  • 82% of all juvenile sexual assault victims are female.
  • 90% of adult rape victims are female.
  • 41% of sexual assaults against Native Indians are committed by a stranger.
  • Adolescents aged 14‐17 were by far the most likely to be sexually victimized; nearly one in six (16.3%) was sexually victimized in the past year.

General Statistics about Sexual Assault

Although statistics on sexual assault can’t even begin to convey the suffering of victims and their families, they can offer a glimpse into the disturbing extent of the issue.

1. In 2019, over 652,676 women were raped.

(Statista)

This figure excludes non-rape sexual assaults but includes date rape statistics; if included, data from non-rape sexual assaults would take the figure closer to the one million mark. What’s worse, it has been rising for the last decade at an annual rate of 2.9%, and this trend shows no sign of decreasing.

2. Over 40% of women in the US have encountered sexual violence.

(Statista)

Sexual abuse, as shown by rape and sexual assault statistics, has affected 41.8% of women in the US who have been victimized by sexual violence other than rape.

3. Nearly 80% of female sexual assault victims experience their first assault before the age of 25.

(Statista)

Exactly 79.6% of female victims who have experienced one or more completed rape did so before the age of 25.

4. Around 20% of American males have been the victim of sexual violence.

(Rainn)

According to Rainn statistics, outside of the correctional system, most rape victims are female. However, studies show that 21.4% of males in the US have been the victims of sexual violence and have experienced this outside of any prison facility.

5. A quarter of male victims of sexual assault were under 10 years of age.

(Department of Justice)

According to studies, an estimated total of 28% of male victims of sexual assault in the US will have experienced their first assault at 10 years of age or younger.

6. Rape Statistics show that less than 20% of rapes are reported.

(Department of Justice)

It is estimated that only 19% of rapes, completed or attempted, are reported annually. This figure runs consistently across the board. The general consensus is that rape is still considered something shameful, hence victim reluctance.

7. Women and men with disabilities face twice the risk of sexual assault than able-bodied individuals.

(New York Times)

Sadly, data gathered from watchdog organizations and US sexual assault statistics have found that disabled people were twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault than able-bodied people. Statistics of sexual abuse show that the majority of these heinous assaults were carried out in care environments (both facilities and home care). Yet, they were also reported as taking place during hospital or general practitioner sessions, as well as in individual therapy sessions.

8. Nearly 20,000 sexual assaults were reported in the military last year.

(MSN)

A study on the level of sexual assault within the military from 2010 revealed sexual violence statistics that showed a figure of 3,577, of which only a quarter took place during deployment in combat zones.

The study was repeated in 2019, and the sexual assault stats showed over 19,000 sexual assaults had now taken place in the US military.

9. 7.2% of all children surveyed in 2019 had been victims of sexual assault.

(Department of Justice)

Child sexual abuse statistics highlight the harrowing revelation that teens aged 14 to 17 were in the highest risk category for sexual assault, with more than one in four adolescents (27.3%) having been sexually victimized during their lifetimes.

10. Approximately 70 women commit suicide every day in the US following an act of sexual violence.

(Department of Justice)

Women sexual assault statistics reveal some extremely disturbing facts. An estimated 70 women commit suicide daily in the US, directly as a result of sexual violence. Worryingly, this figure has grown by 2.87% over the last year.

11. Sexual violence incidents, preceded by stalking, increased by 1.9% in 2019.

(RAINN)

According to statistics and sexual harassment facts from 2019, the incidents of stalking that led to sexual assaults have increased steadily over the last year. What makes this figure even more alarming is the fact that initiatives were put in place to prevent and protect victims from such occurrences. So, governmental legislation and thinking about the issue must be reviewed.

12. During 2019, 13% of all women in California were victims of rape.

(LA Times)

Sexual harassment statistics reflect a large percentage of Californian women have been reported as having been a victim to an attempted or completed rape in 2019. Current rape statistics by state show that 13% of all Californian women are in danger of being a victim of sexual assault.

13. Statistics show that 1 in 6 US women will be raped annually in the US.

(Statista)

Surveys and rape statistics by gender have found that 1 in 6 American women, and 1 in 33 American men has experienced an attempted/completed rape as a child or adult. This disturbing figure has been predicted to rise exponentially over the next three years.

14. Over 1.5 million women were raped by an intimate partner in 2019.

(Department of Justice)

Statistics on sexual harassment from the Department of Justice suggest that over 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and/or physically assaulted annually by an intimate partner in the United States. This staggering figure is both disheartening and unnerving. 

Experts have created focus groups to analyze and explore these sexual assault statistics by state in more depth.

Sexual Assault Statistics - woman

Little Known Facts About Male Victims of Sexual Violence

According to sexual assault statistics, males are also high-risk victims of sexual violence.

Which means that:

Sexual abuse is not limited to females, and the abuse of boys has little to do with either the abuser’s or the victim’s sexual orientation.

Perhaps unsurprisingly:

Male rape statistics show that most perpetrators of male sexual assault are men. These predators choose to rape both gay or straight men because rape is an act of aggression and domination, not of sexual desire.

Contrary to popular belief:

Girls and women can most definitely be perpetrators of sexual violence toward males, and instances of this kind are more prevalent in society than most people realize.

In contradiction to the sweeping statement thinking of most people, male sexual assault statistics have now proved that most males who experience sexual assault (at any age) do not automatically go on to become sexual abusers.

In many cases:

According to gun violence statistics, attackers can use various weapons, physical force, or even the threat of force to gain the upper hand. Others, according to rape victim statistics, may use blackmail or their position of authority to threaten someone into submission.

15. Approximately 16% of males in juvenile prisons have been sexually abused.

(US Center for Disease Control)

A 2019 study by the US Center for Disease Control examined woman rape statistics in juvenile prisons for incidents and frequency of sexual violence. The results showed that 16% of males had been victims of sexual abuse, whereas over 60% of males in these facilities had encountered the threat of sexual violence.

16. In Florida alone, a staggering total of 1,477,000 men have been victim to sexual assault.

(Calcasa)

In Florida, 20.4% of men, or 1,477,000 men, have been victimized by sexual violence over the last decade.

17. Over 25% of male sexual assault victims will experience their first assault before 10 years of age.

(The Insider)

According to sexual assault statistics 2019, studies and statistical analysis, in excess of 25% (27.8% to be exact) of male victims of sexual assault will probably experience their first attack by age 10 or younger.

18. Nearly 40% of adult males that experience sexual violence from an intimate partner are left with psychological scarring.

(Department of Justice)

Reports and studies on  US rape statistics show clearly that 39.7% of men who have experienced sexual assault from their partner such as rape, stalking or physical violence, are left with long term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other types of psychological injury.

19. New York statistics show that 18% of all rapes in the city involved a male victim.

(New York Times)

According to rape statistics, extensive studies, and focus groups, 2019 involved a record high of male rape victims within the city, with a record high figure of 18% – which is 5.7% higher than 2018.

Sexual Assault Statistics - male victim

Sexual Assault Effects on Society

20. Over 80% of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance.

(RAINN)

Relatives, teachers, religious leaders, former spouses – unfortunately, the list of possible attackers is one of people who will most often have a very intimate relationship with the victim. Statistics on rape indicate that this connection normally results in most rape victims shying away from reporting such incidents due to obligatory or emotional pressures.

21. Almost 95% of child victims knew their sexual attacker.

(RAINN)

Rape stats by RAINN show that the vast majority percentage (93.98%) of child victims in the US in 2019 were familiar with their attacker. In almost all of these cases, as reflected by teenage sexual assault statistics, the child had spent a significant amount of time (10 plus hours, in one full duration or segmented) with their attacker prior to the sexual assault taking place.

22. The rate of false rape claims in the US is well below the 10% average mark.

(The Nation)

Although false rape claims do happen, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of rape claims are legitimate, as sexual assault statistics reveal.

In fact, data collated in 2019 from false rape statistics, shows that a combined rate of 6.9% of rape claims were false. 

23. Sexual assaults cost the US billions of dollars annually.

(The Insider)

Findings from college sexual assault statistics and other reports show that although sexual assaults take heinous tolls on their victims and cause terrible emotional damage, there is another cost that is rarely factored into such tragic events – the cost on society in financial terms.

According to stats on sexual abuse, when we factor in the costs of funding and running sexual assault services, the resulting lower educational aspirations (a common affliction amongst adolescents who have been the victim of child abuse), and the cost of lost earnings of victims who have been traumatized to a point where they are unable to work, the costs on the US annually are in excess of $450 billion. A staggering figure on paper, and one that has, according to stats on sexual assault, been increasing yearly by 1.8% on average.

24. 69% of rape victims in the US are women aged between 12 to 34 years old.

(USA Today)

Sexual violence figures from 2019 were significantly higher compared to sexual assault statistics 2018. The 12-34 age bracket has been known to encompass the majority of rape victims in the US on an average year.

25. Transgender college students have a 5% higher rate of getting raped than other students.

(Women’s Center Youth and Family Services)

After conducting studies on sexual assault statistics by gender, US colleges have reported a rise in sexual attacks on transgender students. College rape statistics about transgender, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming (TGQN) students have shown that in 2019 an average of 23% of students were in danger of being sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN students. These stats are concerning because they are significantly higher than college sexual assault statistics 2018, which means the problem is getting out of control.

26. Bisexual women are more than twice as likely to victims of rape than straight women.

(Statista)

Of all the women at the greatest risk from sexual assault in the US, bisexual women are statistically in the danger zone. Sexual abuse statistics show that 46% of bisexual women reported being a victim of sexual assault in 2019, compared to 17% of straight women.

Furthermore, sexual assault on college campuses statistics show an interesting correlation, which reveals that bisexual men face similar issues, with 47% of them being victims of sexual violence, compared to 21% of heterosexual men.

27. The majority (90%) of rape victims are female.

(Department of Justice)

Findings from sexual assault reporting statistics have unsurprisingly revealed that women make up the vast majority of rape victims. This figure reflects rape statistics US and includes adult victims but excludes juvenile victims, who, if included, would total 82% of all rape victims.

28. An American is sexually assaulted every 93 seconds.

(Calcasa)

Sexual assaults are on the rise throughout the whole of the US. On average, state by state comparative analysis (including rape statistics by race data) shows that there are approximately 325,566 victims of rape and sexual assault (age 12 or older) in the US every year.

29. People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of rape and sexual assault as those without disabilities.

(MSN)

Both males and females with disabilities experienced higher rates of victimization than able-bodied males and females. Surprisingly, rape statistics in the US show that those with a type of cognitive-functioning disability were at higher risk of violent victimization than those with any other type of disability.

30. Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 19 are 4x more likely than girls and women in other age groups to be assaulted or raped.

(Calcasa)

Results gathered from numerous studies show that campus sexual assault statistics have found patterns on the locale of victims. In general, 46% of sexual assault victims were sleeping or performing another activity at home when they were victimized.

Nearly 23% were traveling to and from school or work, shopping, or running errands. Some 19% were working when they were assaulted, 9% were attending school, and 19% were doing some other activity.

31. One out of every six American females is a victim of attempted or completed sexual assault.

(RAINN)

According to sexual assault facts, one out of every six American women will most probably be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. This ratio has doubled in the last five years, and analysts predict the same to happen over the course of the next half a decade.

1 in 33 American men (about 3% of the total percentage of women sexually assaulted) have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. This figure has increased by 22.4% over the last five years.

32. For every 1000 rapes in the US, 995 perpetrators will go unpunished.

(RAINN)

Studies covering unreported sexual assault statistics show that the overwhelming majority of perpetrators will escape punishment of any kind.

US rape stats show that too many victims are afraid to follow through with the legalities of their claim, leading to perpetrators escaping punishment of any form.

Sexual Assault Statistics: The Way Ahead

As you can see from the latest stats, the current state of sexual assaults in the US is fairly bad, and current measures do not seem to be working.

So, in addition to increasing awareness of sexual assault dangers, the stigma around sexual assaults needs to be lifted. This will encourage victims to come forward and prosecute attackers and also allow authorities to provide victims with the assistance and help they need in order to heal.

Sources: