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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.

  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
  • By age 18, 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused.
  • 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused.
  • 44% of victims are under the age of 18; 80% are under age 30.
  • During their lifetime, 1 in 6 women has experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • An estimated 20% to 25% of college women in the United States have experienced an attempted or completed rape during their college career.
  • At least 50% of college students’ sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use.
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:

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: RAINN’s national routing number 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) will auto-connect the caller to the nearest participating local rape crisis center.
  • In Beaver County the 24-hour helpline at the Women’s Center is: 724-775-0131 or 1-877-629-1841.
  • PCAR's (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape) 24-hour Info & Referral Line is: 888-772-PCAR (7227).