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Facts about Sexual Violence

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence refers to any sexual activity where consent is not obtained or freely given. Sexual violence occurs when someone forces or manipulates someone else into unwanted sexual activity. This can include rape, incest, date and acquaintance rape, and unwanted sexual contact. Sexual violence does not always include physical contact - for example, it could be sexual harassment and/or threats. Sexual violence is a crime.

Here are some important facts to know about sexual violence:

FACT: Chances are you know someone who has been sexually assaulted.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone: all genders, ages, races, religions, incomes, ethnicities and sexual orientations.

  • During their lifetime, 1 in 5 women has experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • 80% of female victims experienced a completed raped before they turned 25 years old, and almost half experienced a completed raped before they were 18 years old.
  • 28% of men experienced a completed raped before they were 10 years old.
  • 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college.
  • 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
FACT: Victims usually know their assaulter.

The majority of people who sexually assault are everyday people. They usually attack someone they know – a friend, date, classmate, neighbor, co-worker, or relative. Their behavior is what makes them sexual predators not their lifestyles. This does not mean that stranger rape does not happen; it does. But most victims/survivors of sexual assault know their perpetrators.

FACT: Victims are never at fault for a sexual violence.

It doesn’t matter what someone is wearing or how they are acting, no one asks to be raped. People who sexually assault often use force, threat, or injury. An absence of injuries to the victim does not indicate the victim consented.

FACT: Help is available. You can be a survivor - You don't have to stay a victim.

Local sexual assault centers can provide help and support to victims of sexual violence. In crisis situations, contact:

  • Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin McGraw, developed an app called “Aspire News” which is a free application which contains summaries of top stories in world, sports, and entertainment news. Additionally, if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, the “Help” section of the app contains resources for victims of domestic abuse. **This app does not serve as a replacement for emergency services**

  • The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was developed to be the backbone of our nation’s response to violence against women  and was pioneered by Joe Biden. The  1 is 2 Many Campaign launched the “Circle of 6” app which puts group of friends instantly in touch with each other, so if someone is in trouble they can send a “Come and get me” message, complete with a GPS location map. This app is available for free downloading from the circle of 6 website and the Apple App store.

  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police.