Sex Crime Facts
- One reported forcible rape or attempted rape takes place approximately every six minutes in the United States. This statistic does not include unreported rapes or other sexual assaults, including assaults against men or many children (boys, or girls sexually assaulted but not raped).
- A history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect can be found in the background of many adolescent sex offenders.
- 75% percent of women raped are between the ages of 15 and 21. The average age is 18.
- Only 16 percent of rapes are ever reported to the police.
- In the United States, every 2-3 minutes a woman is sexually assaulted.
- 87% of all sexual assault victims are female.
- The single most effective strategy used to stop an assault is an immediate physical and verbal response.
- 97% of all sexual assault offenders are male.
- 85% of all sexual assaults are committed by a family member, friend, or acquaintance of the victim.
- In over one-third of all sexual assaults, the assailant attacks the victim in the victim's own home.
Rape is the most under-reported crime in the United States.
Should the Unthinkable Happen - What You Should Do...
How should you handle a rape attempt? It depends on your physical and emotional state, the situation, the rapist's personality. Surviving is the goal.
- Try to escape. Scream. Make noise to discourage your attacker from following.
- Talk, stall for time, and assess your options.
- If the rapist has a weapon, you may have no choice but to submit. Do whatever it takes to survive.
- If you decide to fight back, you must be quick, determined, and effective. Target the eyes or groin.
Sexual assault victims are usually in a state of shock after a sexual assault. They are unsure about what to do and whom to tell. This reaction may last several hours or several days.
Detached calm, anger, loss of trust, shame, fear, and depression are some common reactions to sexual assault but vary with each sexual assault survivor. These may be more lasting than the initial stage of shock. The impact of a sexual assault is often felt strongly for a year or more and is never forgotten. The survivor may be able to put the experience into a different perspective with time. The impact varies with the individual and varies over time. The support of those around her/him is very important to the victim's recovery.
- Report rape or any sexual assault to the police or rape crisis center. The sooner you tell, the greater the chances the rapist will be caught.
- Preserve all physical evidence. Don't shower, bathe, change clothes, or throw any clothing away until the police or rape counselor say it's okay.
- Go to a hospital emergency room or your own doctor for medical care immediately. Don't go alone. Ask a friend or family member to go with you or call a rape crisis center or school counselor.
- Get counseling to help deal with feelings of anger, helplessness, fear, and shame caused by rape. It helps to talk to someone about the rape, whether it happened last night, last week, or years ago. In deciding what counselors to use, be extremely cautious, look for someone who is qualified, ethical, and experienced in cases of sexual victimization.
If Someone You Know Has Been Raped
- Believe her or him.
- Don't blame the victim.
- Offer support, patience, and compassion to help the rape victim work through the crisis, heal, and emerge a survivor.
Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention
Use Your Head:
- Be alert! Walk with confidence and purpose.
- Be aware of your surrounding - know who's out there and what's going on.
- Don't let alcohol or other drugs cloud your judgment.
- Trust your instincts. If a situation or place makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, leave!
- Make sure all doors (don't forget sliding glass doors) and windows have sturdy, well-installed locks, and use them! Install a wide-angle peephole in the door. Keep entrances well lighted.
- Never open your door to strangers. Offer to make an emergency call while someone waits outside. Check the identification of any sales or service people before letting them in. Don't be embarrassed to phone for verification.
- Be wary of isolated spots - apartment laundry rooms, underground garages, parking lots, offices after business hours. Walk with a friend, co-worker, or security guard, particularly at night.
- Know your neighbors, so you have someone to call or go to if you're scared.
- If you come home and see a door or window open, or broken, don't go in. Call the police.
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
- Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
- Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions - if you answer, keep your distance from the car.
- Have your key ready before you reach the door - home, car, or office.
- If you think you're being followed, change direction and head for open stores, restaurants, theaters, or a lighted house.
In your car:
- Park in areas that will be well-lit and well-traveled when you return.
- Always lock your car - when you get in and when you get out.
- Look around your car and in the back seat before you get in.
- If your car breaks down, lift the hood, lock the doors, and turn on your flashers. Use flares. If someone stops, roll the window down slightly and ask the person to call the police or a tow service.
- Don't hitchhike, ever. Don't pick up a hitchhiker.