December 16, 2011
One In Five Women Affected By Rape
Nearly 20 percent of women are raped or suffer attempted rape at some point in their lives, while 25 percent have been attacked by a husband or partner, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday.
The same is true for more than 25 percent of men, according to the CDC´s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
The survey is the first of its kind to examine the prevalence of rape, sexual violence other than rape, stalking and intimate partner violence, and to report the lifelong health consequences.
Among female victims, 30% reported being first raped when they were between 11 and 17 years old, while 12% were 10 years old or younger. Among males, 28% of victims were first raped when they were aged 10 or younger.
"The finding of this happening at an early age has huge policy implications," said Howard Spivak, director of the CDC's division of violence prevention.
"We need to focus on children, not (just) teens or adults. There's already a significant number of individuals affected by the time they are teens or adults.”
More than one-third of U.S. women, roughly 42.4 million, have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, with one in 10 having been raped by an intimate partner, the survey revealed.
About 80% experienced their first rape before reaching the age of 25.
Among male victims, 52.4% reported being raped by an acquaintance, and 15.1% by a stranger.
For both male and female victims, their attackers were predominately male.
"The numbers surprise us," said Linda Degutis, lead author of the report and the CDC's director for National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
"All of this underscores that sexual violence is widespread and an important health problem in this country."
The study also found that nearly half of all women and men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The survey, which interviewed 9,086 women and 7,421 men by phone, also found that 44.6 percent of women and 22.2 percent experienced sexual violence other than rape at some point in their lives.
Approximately 1.3 million women reported being raped in the year prior to the survey.
Additional information about the study can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/features/NISVS/.