Sexual Assault Statistics & Facts You Need to Know

sexual assault statistics

Sexual assault affects every community, touching lives across all genders and ages. It’s any unwanted sexual contact, from inappropriate words to physical actions, forced upon someone without their consent. Perpetrators often use threats, manipulation, or coercion, making it a pervasive issue.

Sexual assault leaves deep scars on individuals and communities. Shockingly, most assaults are committed by people known to the victim—friends, acquaintances, classmates, co-workers, partners, exes, neighbors, dates, or someone they met online or at a party.

This starkly contrasts with common beliefs about who commits these acts, making it harder to recognize when an assault occurs. Offenders exploit vulnerabilities and believe they have a right to someone else’s body.

No one ever deserves to be sexually assaulted. The blame lies entirely with the perpetrator. Every year, millions in the U.S. suffer from sexual violence, but many cases go unreported, meaning the true scale is even greater than the numbers show.

Here are some critical sexual assault statistics for 2024 to help you grasp the severity of this crisis.

How Many Women & Men Get Sexually Assaulted a Year

rape statistics in america
  • 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment and/or assault at some point in their lives. It’s heartbreaking to know that over 1 in 4 women (27%) and 1 in 14 men (7%) have survived sexual assault. (1)

  • For female victims who experienced completed or attempted rape before age 18, the estimated state figure is 49% which amounts to about 16,384,000. individuals. (2)

  • Lifetime estimates of contact sexual violence for U.S. men is about 30.7%, which is 36,191,000 estimated numbers of sexual assault victims. (2)

  • In 2022, an estimated 531,810 people in the U.S. experienced rape, including threatened, attempted, or completed incidents. According to this study, the rate of rape or sexual assault was lower in 2022 than in 2018, dropping from 2.7 to 1.9 per 1,000 people. (3)

  • In 2022, only 21.4% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police. (3)

  • The rate of nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent for undergraduate women ranged from 14% to 32% across the 33 schools. Overall, 13% of students reported experiencing such contact since enrolling at their school. (4)

sexual assault statistics
  • The estimated lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 per victim, amounting to a nearly $3.1 trillion economic burden for the population over victims’ lifetimes. (5)

  • Up to 94% of rape survivors develop PTSD symptoms within two weeks, with 50% suffering long-term effects. Survivors victimized by an intimate partner experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress and increased problems at work or school. (6)

  • In 2022, about 2 in 5 (42%) of violent victimizations were reported to the police. (3)

U.S. Rape Statistics

u.s. rape statistics
  • On average, from 2018 to 2022, there were around 318,920 victims of rape and sexual assault each year. (3)

  • Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to data from RAINN. RAINN runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline with the help of over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country. (7)

  • Rates of unwanted sexual contact among active-duty women decreased from 8.4% to 6.8% between 2021 and 2023. For active-duty men, rates slightly decreased from 1.5% to 1.3%, but this change was not statistically significant.

    Overall, the Department of Defense estimates that nearly 7,000 fewer service members experienced sexual assault in 2023 compared to 2021. (8)

  • Lifetime estimates of contact sexual violence victimization by an intimate partner for U.S. women range from 12.6% to 32.0%. (2)

  • In 2018, there were 27,826 allegations of sexual victimization in prisons and jails. This is a 14% increase from the 24,514 reported in 2015. (9)

  • About one in four girls and one in 20 boys in the United States experience childhood sexual abuse. (10)

Rape Victims

a. Women and Girls Face High Rates of Rape

percentage of women sexually assaulted
  • According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), lifetime estimates of attempted or completed rape among U.S. women by state is 26.8%, with 33,466,000 estimated victims. (2)

  • More than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3%) have faced violence at some point in their lives. (11)

  • Women are more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than men. About 8 out of every 100 women (8%) and 4 out of every 100 men (4%) will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. This higher rate in women is partly because they are more likely to experience traumatic events like sexual assault. (12)

b. Men and Boys are Also Impacted by Rape

  • Approximately 3,075,000 men (3.8%) in the United States have been victims of completed or attempted rape in their lifetime. (2)

  • In violent incidents involving male victims, a higher number included male offenders, totaling 2,252,270 incidents. (3)

  • Among TGQN (Transgender, Genderqueer, and Nonconforming) students, 22.8% of undergraduates and 14.5% of graduate and professional students reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact. (4)

  • From 2017 to 2020, transgender individuals experienced 51.5 victimizations per 1,000 people, 2.5 times higher than cisgender individuals’ rate of 20.5 per 1,000. (3)

sexual assault statistics by gender

The prevalence of violent crime among individuals aged 12 to 17 rose from 0.78% in 2021 to 1.72% in 2022. Additionally, the percentage of people who experienced at least one violent crime also went up for those aged 25 to 34 and 65 or older. (3)

Sexual Assault in the Military Statistics

8.4% of active-duty women and 1.5% of active-duty men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact within the last 12 months. The Department received 8,866 reports of sexual assault, which is 1,050 more than the 7,816 reports received in 2020. (13)

percent of women sexually assaulted

In 2021, this survey found that an estimated 29% of active-duty women experienced sexual harassment in 2021, up from 24% in 2018. Rates for men stayed about the same between 2018 and 2021. Reports of sexual harassment also increased, with 3,174 reports in 2021, compared to 1,781 in 2020. (13)

Final Thought

The impact of sexual violence is profound, affecting every aspect of a victim’s life. Women who have been raped often report symptoms of professional or emotional issues that can last a lifetime. Victims who are raped contemplate suicide due to the trauma they’ve endured.

Intimate partner violence can leave emotional scars and other professional challenges. Organizations like the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work tirelessly to support violent victimization survivors and raise awareness about these issues.

Despite the grim reality of sexual assault cases, there is hope. By sharing these statistics and stories, we shed light on the widespread problem of sexual violence and the urgent need for change.

Every step we take to support victims, raise awareness, and prevent sexual violence helps create a safer, more compassionate world. Together, we can help those affected by sexual violence to heal, seek justice, and rebuild their lives.

Share the Post:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top