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Monday, February 22, 2016

Sexual Assaults: What the Statistics Tell Us

Can the facts about sexual assaults help us to protect ourselves?

 As we are all well aware, through media coverage, if not firsthand or secondhand information, sexual assault is a crime that is all too prevalent in our society. Though attention lately seems to focus on assaults on college campuses and assaults involving celebrity athletes, the problem is pervasive in all areas of our communities. Hopefully, increased awareness of when, where and how these crimes take place will help us to diminish their frequency and keep ourselves and our families from being victimized.

Where and When Sexual Assaults Occur

Though many people fear stranger-rape in heavily populated urban areas or in the solitude of the woods, 50 percent of sexual assaults take place within a one-mile radius of the home or within the home itself. Other locations of sexual assaults are:

  • Public area, such as a park or parking lot (18 percent)
  • Home of a friend, neighbor or relative (13 percent)
  • School (7 percent)


    Over 60 percent of sexual assaults occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    The Victims of Sexual Assaults

    The following are important statistics about the victims of sexual assaults: 44 four percent are under the age of 18 and 80 percent are under the age of 30. This, as we know, does not mean older individuals are immune to sexual assault since the crime is one of violence, not lust.

    Frequency and Reportage of Sexual Assaults

    Sexual assaults occur with alarming frequency. In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. Annually, almost 300,000 individuals are victims of sexual assault.

    It is estimated that as many as 68 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

    Facts about Sexual Offenders

    Contrary to the myth that sexual offenders are usually strangers, it is approximated that four out of five offenders are known to their victims, and almost half are actually friends or acquaintances. Astonishingly, as many as 25 percent of offenders are intimates of their victims and 5 percent are relatives.

    Statistics about sexual offenders themselves include the following facts:

  • The average age of offenders is 31 years old
  • More than half of those who commit sexual assaults are white
  • Almost a quarter of imprisoned sexual offenders report being married
  • Nearly a fifth of sexual assaults are committed by minors
  • One in three sexual offenses is committed by someone intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
  • 11 percent of offenders used weapons; the rest used only physical force and intimidation
  • Nearly half of sexual offenders commit another type of criminal offense within 3 years

For a combination of reasons, including under-reportage, about 98 percent of those who commit sexual assault will never be incarcerated.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, it is essential to obtain medical and psychological care and to contact a personal injury attorney experienced in the field promptly.

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