Sexual violence is a serious problem that affects millions of people every year. Its victims are at increased risk of being abused again. Sexual violence perpetrators are also at increased risk of perpetrating again.
Statistics about sexual violence vary due to differences in how it is defined and how data is collected. Sexual violence data usually come from police, clinical settings, nongovernmental organizations, and survey research.
Available data greatly underestimate the true magnitude of the problem. Rape is one of the most underreported crimes. only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials. While not an exhaustive list, here are some statistics on the occurrence of sexual violence.
About 2 out of 1000 children in the United States were confirmed by child protective service agencies as having experienced sexual assault
Among high school youth nationwide:
About 9% of students reported that they had been forced to have sexual intercourse.
Female students are more likely than male students to report sexual assault (11.9% vs. 6.1%).
Overall, 12.3% of Black students, 10.4% of Hispanic students, and 7.3% of White students reported that they had been forced to have sexual intercourse.
Among college students nationwide:
between 20% and 25% of women reported experiencing completed or attempted rape
Among adults nationwide:
More than 300,000 women (0.3%) and over 90,000 men (0.1%) reported being raped in the previous 12 months.
One in six women (17%) and one in thirty-three men (3%) reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives.
Rape usually occurs more than once. Among adults who report being raped, women experienced 2.9 rapes and men experienced 1.2 rapes in the previous year (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).
Sexual violence can have very harmful and lasting consequences for victims, families, and communities. The following list describes just some of them.
Women who experience both sexual and physical abuse are significantly more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases.
Over 32,000 pregnancies result from rape every year
There are long-term consequences such as:
Chronic pelvic pain
Gynecological and pregnancy complications
Migraines and other frequent headaches
Disability preventing work
Victims of sexual violence face both immediate and long-term psychological consequences.
Immediate psychological consequences include:
Distrust of others
Symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder
Mental replay of assault
Mental chronic psychological consequences include:
Attempted or completed suicide
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Unhealthy diet-related behaviors
Abusing diet pills
Strained relationships with the victim`s family, friends, and intimate partners
Less emotional support from friends and family
Less frequent contact with friends and relatives
Lower likelihood of marriage.
Some researchers view the following health behaviors as both consequences of sexual violence and factors that increase a person`s vulnerability to being victimized again in the future.
Engaging in high-risk sexual behavior including:
Early sexual initiation
Choosing unhealthy sexual partners
Having multiple sex partners
Trading sex for food, money, or other items
Using or abusing harmful substances, including:
Driving after drinking alcohol
Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men: 78% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are women and 22% are men.
Sexual violence starts very early in life. More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12. For men, 75% of all rapes occur before age 18, and 48% occur before age 12.
Prevalence of IPV varies among race. American Indian and Alaskan Native women are significantly more likely (34%) to report being raped than African American women (19%) or White women (18%).
Women in college who use drugs, attend a university with high drinking rates, belong in a sorority, and drank heavily in high school are at greater risk for rape while intoxicated.
Most perpetrators of sexual violence are men. Among acts of SV committed against women since the age of 18, 100% of rapes, 92% of physical assaults, and 97% of stalking acts were perpetrated by men. SV against men is also mainly male violence: 70% of rapes, 86% of physical assaults, and 65% of stalking acts were perpetrated by men.
Relationship between Victim and Perpetrator
In 8 out of 10 rape cases, the victim knows the perpetrator.
A national survey found that 10% of women were victims of rape or attempted rape by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime.
Of people who report sexual violence, 64% of women and 16% of men were raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner. This includes a current or former spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, or date.
Vulnerability Factors for Victimization and Risk Factors for Perpetration
As discussed in the Occurrence section above, statistics on sexual violence are biased by underreporting, and emphasis on more overtly violent sexual assaults by medical and legal services, among other factors. Underreporting is due to victims` embarrassment, shame, fear, feelings of discomfort and mistrust about the official(s) to whom an assault is reported.
Despite the underestimation of the true magnitude of the problem, research has increased understanding of factors that make some populations more vulnerable to sexual violence victimization and more at risk for sexual violence perpetration.
Vulnerability factors increase the likelihood that a person will suffer harm. Risk factors increase the likelihood that a person will cause harm. However, neither vulnerability nor risk factors are direct causes of sexual violence as they are contributing factors to sexual violence. Vulnerability factors for victimization and risk factors for perpetration comprise a combination of individual, relational, community and societal factors.
Populations vulnerable to victimization and those at risk for perpetration can share these factors. All community- and social-level factors listed under Risk Factors for Perpetration increase victims` vulnerability to sexual violence. Some vulnerability and risk factors are correlated with one another; for example, childhood physical and/or sexual victimization is a risk factor for future perpetration of sexual violence.
The public health approach aims to moderate and mediate those contributing factors that are preventable, and to increase protective factors that reduce vulnerability to victimization and risk for perpetration.
Vulnerability Factors for Victimization
Prior history of sexual violence. Women who are raped before the age of 18 are twice as likely to be raped as adults, compared to those without a history of sexual abuse.
Gender. Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence than men: 78% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are women and 22% are men. These findings may be influenced by the reluctance of men to report sexual violence.
Young age. Sexual violence victimization starts very early in life. More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12. For men, 75% of all rapes occur before age 18, and 48% occur before age 12. Young women are at higher risk of being raped than older women.
Drug or alcohol use.* Binge drinking and drug use are related to increased rates of victimization.
High-risk sexual behavior. As with drug/alcohol use, researchers are trying to understand the complex relationships between sexuality and sexual violence their causality, directionality, and other etiologic factors that increase vulnerability for victimization are not well understood. Some researchers believe that engaging in high-risk sexual behavior is both a vulnerability factor and a consequence of childhood sexual abuse. Youth with many sexual partners are at increased risk of experiencing sexual abuse.
Poverty may make the daily lives of women and children more dangerous (e.g. walking alone at night, less parental supervision). It may also make them more dependent on men for survival and therefore less able to control their own sexuality, consent to sex, recognize their own victimization or to seek help when victimized. These issues increase their vulnerability to sexual victimization. In addition, poor women may be at risk for sexual violence because their economic (and, often, educational) status necessitates that they engage in high-risk survival activities, for example trading sex for food, money, or other items. Poverty also puts women at increased risk of intimate partner violence, of which sexual violence is often one aspect.
Ethnicity/culture. American Indian and Alaskan Native women are more likely (34%) to report being raped than African American women (19%), White women (18%) or Hispanic women (15%).
The incidence of sexual violence against women is greater in societies that have male-dominated ideologies and a history of violence, as is the case in India. The number of registered cases of sexual crimes against women in India increased from 67,072 in 1989 to 84,000 in 1993. In 1995 alone, more than 25,000 cases of molestation and 12,000 cases of rape were reported in the capital city of New Delhi. It is estimated that well over 80% of sexual crimes go unreported. For example, only 7,643 of the estimated 50,000 instances of violence against women were reported to the police even in Kerala, a South Indian state with the highest women’s literacy rate.
One specific form of sexual harassment called “eve-teasing” is prevalent, especially in urban India. (3) The term eve-teasing is used to refer to sexual harassment of women in public places such as the streets, public transportation, parks, beaches, and cinema halls. This type of public harassment by a lone man or gangs of men includes verbal assaults such as making passes or unwelcome sexual jokes; nonverbal assaults such as showing obscene gestures, winking, whistling, and staring; and physical assaults such as pinching, fondling, and rubbing against women in public places. In addition, in several instances eve-teasing has been followed by more violent assaults such as rape and murder. In trying to construct the profile of an eve-teaser, it is interesting to note that about 32% of eve-teasers are college students.
The data on sexual violence have been collected as a part of a larger study in rural areas of four states of India– Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. Currently married women in these areas who had been interviewed by National Family Health Survey-2 and were age 15-39 at that time were reinterviewed in a followed-up survey carried out.
A total of 6303 married women aged 19-43 years were reinterviewed in follow-up survey. This included a subsample of 1108 women aged under 25 years of age.
India also had the highest rate of violence during pregnancy. Of the women reporting violence, 50 percent were kicked, beaten or hit when pregnant. About 74.8 percent of the women who reported violence have attempted to commit suicide.
Domestic violence experts say the problem in India stems from a cultural bias against women who challenge their husband’s right to control their behavior. Women who do this—even by asking for household money or stepping out of the house without their permission–are seen as punishable. This process leads men to believe their notion of masculinity and manhood is reflected to the degree to which they control their wives.
“The behavior of men stems from their understanding of masculinity,” said Nandita Bhatla, researcher with the International Center for Research on Women, “and what their role should be vis-a-vis women, especially their wives.”
Although men’s preoccupation with controlling their wives declines with age–as does the incidence of sexual violence–researchers found that the highest rates of sexual violence were among highly educated men. Thirty-two percent of men with zero years of education and 42 percent men with one-to-five years of education reported sexual violence. Among men with six-to-10 years of education–as well as those with high-school education and higher–this figure increased to 57 percent.
A similar pattern was seen when the problem was analyzed according to income and socioeconomic standing. Those at the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder–migrant labor, cobblers, carpenters, and barbers–showed a sexual violence rate of 35 percent. The rate almost doubled to 61 percent among the highest income groups.
So there is no ONE reason for sexual Violence, its all depend on Money,Power,Education and age.