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By the Numbers: Sexual Violence Statistics

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2001
100 pages
This document discusses sexual assault statistics.
Between 1994 and 1998 the number of criminal sexual assaults reported to Illinois law enforcement fell 19 percent. Cook County accounts for almost half of all criminal sexual assaults in Illinois. In 2000, 9,574 adult, adolescent, and child survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment and 3,008 significant others were served by the 29 sexual assault crisis centers of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. According to recent data, there were no significant differences in the rate of rape/sexual assault among racial groups. Persons with disabilities were at 1.5 to five times the risk of sexual abuse and assault as were members of the general population. Between one-third and two-thirds of known sexual assault victims were age 15 or younger. Over 60 percent of rape victims were sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Victims with household incomes under $7,500 were twice as likely as persons in the general population to be victims of sexual assault. Excluding rapes in institutions, about 9 percent of all rape victims were men. More than 70 percent of rape or sexual assault victims knew their attackers compared to about half of all violent crime victims. Fourteen percent of married women had been raped by their husbands. Sexual assault occurred most frequently in the victim’s home. Sixty-eight percent of sexual assaults occurred at night, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Studies have consistently found that resistance to sexual assault is much more effective in avoiding attack than a passive response. Active resistance decreases the change of a completed rape by about 80 percent. Passive resistance, such as crying and pleading, is ineffective and may even encourage the attacker. Almost one-third of victims suffered from rape trauma syndrome. Symptoms include fear, emotional numbness, flashbacks, nightmares, obsessive thoughts, and anger, and may occur months or even years after the incident. Also discussed are incest, child sexual abuse, acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, economic costs, pornography, prostitution, and sexual offenders. 500 footnotes