Sexual Assault and Rape Statistics, Laws, and Reports

Most statistics copied from the Rape and Incest National Network's website: www.RAINN.org.

National

General

  • Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. In 2002, there were 247,730 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault*. (2002 National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice) *this statistic does not include children 12 and under!
  • Of these approximately 248,000 victims, about 87,000 were victims of completed rape, 70,000 were victims of attempted rape, and 91,000 were victims of sexual assault. (2002 NCVS)
  • Up to 4,315 pregnancies may have resulted from these attacks. (RAINN estimate, based on 2002 NCVS)
  • Because of the methodology of the National Crime Victimization Survey, these figures do not include victims 12 or younger. While there are no reliable annual surveys of sexual assaults on children, the Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims are under age 12. (Child Rape Victims, 1992)
  • Have you heard about crime declining? It is true (as best we can tell). While figures for any single year are considered somewhat unreliable because they are based on a small sample size, the more-reliable long-term trend looks extremely good. Since 1993, rape/sexual assault has fallen by half.

Women are victims

  • One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape). A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998)
  • In 2002, seven out of every eight rape victims were female. (2002 NCVS)
  • 75% of female rape victims require medical care after the attack (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1994)
  • While about 80% of all victims are white, minorities are somewhat more likely to be attacked. Lifetime rate of rape/attempted rape (women) based on 1998 NVAWS:
    • All: 17.6% (approx. 1 in 5)
    • White: 17.7%
    • Black: 18.8%
    • Asian.Pacific Islander: 6.8%
    • Am. Indian/Alaskan: 34.1%
    • Mixed Race: 24.4%

Men, too

  • About three percent of American men -- a total of 2.78 million men -- have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women 1998)
  • In 2002, one in every eight rape victims were male. (2002 NCVS)

And, of course, kids

  • About 44% of rape victims are under age 18. Three out of every twenty victims (15%) are under age 12. (Sex Offenses and Offenders. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1997)
  • Seven percent of girls in grades five to eight and twelve percent of girls in grades nine through twelve and said they had been sexually abused. (Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls, 1998)
  • Three percent of boys in grades five through eight and five percent of boys in grades nine through twelve said they had been sexually abused. (Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Boys, 1998)
  • 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims knew their attacker; 34.2% were family members and 58.7% acquaintances. Only seven percent of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim. (Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000)
  • In 1995, local child protective service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse; of these, 75% were girls. Nearly 30% of child victims were between the ages of 4 and 7. (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Child Maltreatment, 1995)

The Color of Rape

  • Among people 12 and older, about 83.5% of the US population is white, and 82.5% of rape victims are white; 13.3% of victims are black, compared to 12.3% of the population; and 4.2% of both victims and the population are of other races. (NCVS, 2000)
  • Blacks are about 10% more likely to be attacked than whites. In 2000, there were 1.1 victimizations per 1,000 white people, and 1.2 victimizations per 1,000 black people. (NCVS, 2000)

Silent Victims

One of the most startling aspects of sex crimes is how many go unreported. The most common reasons given by victims for not reporting these crimes are the belief that it is a private or personal matter and that they fear reprisal from the assailant.

  • In 2001, only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials — about one in every three. (2002 NCVS)
  • Of sexually abused children in grades five through twelve, 48% of the boys and 29% of the girls had told no one about the abuse—not even a friend or sibling. (Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls, 1998)

The rapist isn’t a masked man

  • Approximately 66% of rape victims know their assailant. (2000 NCVS)
  • Approximately 48% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance; 30% by a stranger; 16% by an intimate; 2% by another relative; and in 4% of cases the relationship is unknown. (2000 NCVS)

And he’s not hiding in the bushes

Statistics in this section are from "Sex Offenses and Offenders. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, February 1997":

  • About four out of ten sexual assaults take place at the victim’s own home. Two in ten take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative. One in ten take place outside, away from home. And about one in 12 take place in a parking garage.
  • More than half of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within one mile of their home or at their home.
  • 43% of rapes occur between 6 pm and midnight. 24% occur between midnight and 6am. The other 33% take place between 6am and 6pm.

The Dangers of Youth

  • 15% of victims are under age 12
    29% are age 12-17
    44% are under age 18
    80% are under age 30 (SOO, 1997, 1999 NCVS)
  • Age 12-34 are the highest risk years. Risk peaks in the late teens: girls 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. (NCVS, 2000)

The Criminal

  • The average age of rapists at arrest is 31. Fifty-two percent are white; twenty-two percent of imprisoned rapists report that they are married. (SOO, 1997)
  • Juveniles accounted for about 16% of forcible rape arrestees in 1995 and 17% of those arrested for other sex offenses (SOO, 1997)
  • In about one out of three sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated—30% with alcohol, 4% with drugs. (Alcohol and Crime. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998)
  • In one study, 98% of males who raped boys reported that they were heterosexual. (Sexual Abuse of Boys, Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2, 1998)
  • In 2001, only about 7% of rapes involved the use of a weapon—two percent used a gun, and four percent used a knife. 86% of victims reported the use of physical force only, and 7% were unsure. (2000 NCVS)
  • Rapists are more likely to be serial criminals than serial rapists. In one study, 46% of rapists who were released from prison were rearrested within 3 years of their release for another crime -- 18.6% for a violent offense, 14.8% for a property offense, 11.2% for a drug offense and 20.5% for a public-order offense. (2002 RPR94)

Economic

  • In 1992, $17.6 billion was lost due to violent crime. Costs associated with sexual assault were $33 million - an average of $234 per victim. These include medical expenses, lost pay, theft and damage, and other costs. However, this total does not include costs incurred 6 months after the assault. (The Cost of Crimes To Victims, U.S. Department of Justice, 1994)
  • Almost 1/3 of sexual assault victims suffer from rape trauma syndrome at some point in their lives. Symptoms of rape trauma syndrome may include major depression, suicide attempts, and drug and alcohol abuse. Victims may seek treatment at rape crisis centers, mental health centers, hospitals, and substance abuse centers. It is impossible to estimate the cost of this treatment to victims and the public. (National Victim Center, “Overview of Crime and Victimization in America” 1991)
  • There were an average of 51,000 sexual assaults occurring in the workplace each year from 1992 through 1996. (Workplace Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice)

State Of Maine

  • Overall, nearly one in five report being the victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime (18.2%). This rate is significantly different by gender with 28.5% of females and 7.4% of males who responded affirmatively to this question. (2007 Maine Crime Victimization Report PDF)
  • The victimization rate for unwanted sexual activity and rape during the last 12 months was 1.4%. (2007 Maine Crime Victimization Report PDF)
  • In Maine, the crime of Gross Sexual Assault, as reported to police, occurs every 22 hours, 24 minutes. (2002 Uniform Crime Report, Maine Department of Public Safety)
  • In 2002, 391 “forcible rapes” were reported to Maine law enforcement officials. It is the only violent crime category to increase each year since 1999. (2002 Maine UCR)
  • In 2002, Maine's ten (10) sexual assault crisis and support centers had a total of 12,353 contacts related to sexual assault. SARSSM handled 2,087 of those contacts. (Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Statistical Report, 1/1/02 – 12/31/02)
  • In 2003, SARSSM handled 2,592 contacts resulting in over 1,700 hours of service to sexual assault survivors and concerned others. (2003 Statistical Analysis, Sexual Assault Response Services)
  • Women's Health: A Maine Profile states that 59% of Maine women who are Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) Consent Decree class members report having been sexually abused at some point in their lives

College

The following statistics are from "The Sexual Victimization of College Women," U.S. Department of Justice, 2000:

  • 1 in 4 college women will be raped during their collegiate career
  • Of the incidents categorized as a completed rape, 46.5% felt they were raped, 48.8% felt they were NOT raped, and 4.7% did not know
  • In 94% of the completed and attempted rape cases, the offenders were known to the victim (classmate, friend, boyfriend/ex, acquaintance)
  • 59% of completed rapes occurred in the victim's residence, 31% occurred in other living quarters, and 10% took place in a fraternity house
  • 1 in 5 rape and attempted rape incidents resulted in "bruises, black-eyes, cuts, scratches, swelling, or chipped teeth"
  • Less than 5% of completed and attempted rapes were reported to law enforcement officials; however 2/3's told another person about the incident (mainly a friend, not family or a college official)
  • 13.1% of females reported being stalked since the school year began (an incidence rate of 156.5 per 1,000 female students)

15 of 16 Rapists Will Walk Free

  • 61% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Those rapists, of course, never serve a day in prison.
  • If the rape is reported to police, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.
  • If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution. If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
  • If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.
  • So, even in those 39% of rapes that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.
  • Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% - 1 out of 16 - of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free.

(Probability statistics compiled by NCPA from US Department of Justice statistics. See www.ncpa.org/studies/s229/s229.html)