Sexual Assault Statistics for 2023

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16 Sexual Assault and Rape Statistics for 2023

16 Sexual Assault and Rape Statistics for 2023

Apr 18, 2023

Every year, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and other government agencies work tirelessly to collate the necessary data to generate statistics ready for analysis. Many official sites provide statistical data on sexual assault (SA) cases as early as the first few months of 2023.

Sexual Assault Statistics for 2023

Providing sexual assault statistics has long been part of the government’s responsibility to the people. However, the feat of data collection wasn’t perfected overnight. It is the continued work of men and women in the United States criminal justice system as well as movements like #MeToo that have helped achieve greater accuracy in determining sexual assault statistics.

So, what are the sexual assault statistics for the United States in 2023? How does the government collect data on sexual assault statistics?

This article provides a glimpse into the growing problem of sexual assault in the U.S. It will also include updated data from different statistical sites offering the most recent information on sexual assault cases.

Sexual assaults and sex crimes are deeply abhorred by society, and many cases result in jail time for the offender. Numbers and statistics help people better understand societal trends, while gathering actual data can aid legislators and policymakers in deciding what types of laws to implement in their jurisdictions.

Sexual Assault Stats and Other Data Updated for 2023

Sexual assault is a crime that may involve fines and jail time as well as civil actions for damages. There are many kinds of sexual assault which can impact survivors of all ages and backgrounds. The legal definition of sexual assault may differ from state-to-state. However, despite the state in which a sex crime occurs, the elements defining what is considered sexual assault under the law essentially remain the same.

Definition of Sexual Assault

According to U.S. law, sexual assault is nonconsensual sexual contact between a perpetrator and a victim.

Consent is crucial in cases involving sexual assault. If the plaintiff can prove that a sexual act was committed without express consent or permission, the case can result in any of the following:

  • A sexual assault criminal conviction
  • A successful sexual assault civil lawsuit for damages

What is the Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault?

It is generally regarded that sexual assault is nonconsensual sexual contact which, in certain instances, may not be considered as serious as forcing another person into sexual intercourse.

On the other hand, rape is one of the most egregious and clear-cut forms of sexual assault which involves sexual intercourse or sexual penetration without consent.

U.S. jurisprudence defines rape as the penetration, no matter how slight, of the anus or vagina, with any object or another person’s body part. But the definition doesn’t end there; rape can also be charged for oral penetration by another person’s organ without the victim’s consent.

Given these definitions, you can better decipher the data below concerning sexual assault in the United States. Note that some of the data included in this article reflect figures from previous years (with the most up-to-date provided whenever possible). Much data collection for 2023 is still being conducted, and many government sites have yet to be updated.

Significant Statistics on Sexual Assault and Rape in the U.S.

  1. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), an American becomes a victim of sexual assault in the United States every 68 seconds.
  2. Nearly 470,000 people aged 12 years and older become rape and sexual assault victims annually. Individuals aged 12 to 34 are most prone to sexual assault in the U.S.
  3. More than half of women and almost ? of men in America have experienced sexual assault at least once in their lifetime.
  4. Around 81% of women and 43% of men experienced in their lifetime either sexual harassment, sexual assault, or both.
  5. A report by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center estimated that one in 71 men and one in five women would be raped at one point in their lives.
  6. Approximately 74.9% of bisexual women, 43.3% of heterosexual women, and 46.4% of lesbians reported having experienced sexual violence at some point.
  7. Around 40.2% of gay people, 47.4 bisexual men, and 20.8% of heterosexual men reported having experienced sexual violence besides rape.
  8. An estimated one in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner.
  9. An estimated eight out of 10 rape cases involved victims who personally knew their rapist.
  10. Around 8% of rapes happen while the victim is at work or in the workplace.
  11. Around one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before they turn 18. An estimated 34% of child abusers are family members.
  12. Approximately 12.3% of women report their first experience of rape or sexual victimization at age 10 or younger. Around 30% of women experience their first rape or sexual victimization between ages 11 and 17.
  13. Around 27.8% of men experience their first rape or sexual victimization at age 10 or younger.
  14. An estimated 325,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation yearly.
  15. Approximately 96% of those who sexually abuse children are male. About 76.8% of people who abuse children sexually are adults.
  16. The average age of women becoming victims of prostitution is 12 to 14 years old. For boys, it’s 11 to 13 years old.

How Are the Data on Sexual Assault Collected?

The number of assault and rape cases can be difficult to determine given that many survivors choose not to report crimes – whether to law enforcement or an attorney.

Author Sandra Butler’s speech in 1996 to the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault described the importance of creating a rape crisis center. At the time, protocols were not in place to properly support survivors of sexual assault or ensure that crimes were accurately recorded.

Some of the U.S. government’s data collection systems for gathering statistics about sexual assault and victimization include:

  • The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), under the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

    This survey is the government’s primary source of criminal victimization information. The data is collected yearly from representatives nationwide, comprising around 240,000 people in an estimated 150,000 households.

    The survey focuses on the country’s characteristics, frequency, and consequences of criminal victimization. Common crimes collected by NCVS are nonfatal personal crimes like rape, sexual assault, robbery, and larceny, and household property crimes like robbery and vehicle theft.

  • The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    NISVS is an ongoing survey that collects data from national and state-level sources about intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual violence in the United States.

    The CDC developed this survey to collect data to help build and enhance violence prevention efforts and programs.

  • The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), also under the CDC

The YRBSS collects data using six health-related categories that contribute to the disability and death of youths and adults. The data collected provides information on the following:

  • Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the youth (including HIV infection)
  • Behaviors that result in violence and unintentional injuries
  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Surveys were created and designed for each purpose and focused on specific populations. These surveys aim to collect different types of information for assessment. Questions are drafted to extract answers about sexual victimization, including rephrasing questions for more accurate responses.

    Self-reported surveys are added to the data pool gathered by the three primary data collectors.

    The following organizations also add their data to this pool:

    • The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The UCR provides reliable statistics used in law enforcement and students of criminal justice, researchers, media, and the public. This agency has provided crime statistics since 1930.
    • National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS): The Bureau of Justice and the FBI have worked together to improve the reporting system of the UCR further, creating the NIBRS.

    The data collected by the FBI comes from law enforcement units dealing with actual reports of rapes and sexual violence. The UCR generally provides actual cases from different law enforcement jurisdictions.

    However, there are limitations due to the vast scope of these data-collecting agencies. Still, through these agencies, one can get reasonably accurate data and statistical figures on sexual assault cases.

    Precise statistical data is crucial, especially today in U.S. politics. Many political issues that cause division of ideas in the country can be based on statistical data provided. Accordingly, these pieces of information must be accurate.

    The accuracy of the data gathered allows policymakers and legislators to draft bills that can improve society and curb the ongoing issues of sexual assault and rape in the country.

    Survivor of Sexual Assault? Free Attorney Consultation

    To discuss your sexual assault case confidentially, contact a Dordulian Law Group (DLG) sex crimes attorney today for a free consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. Sam Dordulian founded DLG to be a unique and leading law firm specializing in supporting survivors throughout every step of the litigation process while also fighting tirelessly to secure justice on their behalf.

    As a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council and a former sex crimes prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, having Dordulian fighting in your corner provides peace of mind, as his expert legal representation includes an unparalleled level of skill, dedication, commitment, and proven results.

    Dordulian and his team of California sex crimes attorneys have helped sexual assault survivors secure justice through countless multi-million dollar settlements.

    Some of our recent sexual assault case victories include:

    Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

    • A $2,250,000.00 settlement for a survivor raped by a rideshare driver
    • A confidential multi-million dollar settlement for a client who was raped by a man she met on a ‘Sugar Daddy’ website
    • A $2,000,000.00 child sexual abuse settlement under California AB 218
    • A confidential maximum financial settlement for a women assaulted by an employer – although the incident involved minimal contact, our attorneys were able to secure the damages award under the eggshell plaintiff rule

    To learn more about your legal options after a sexual assault, reach out to a dedicated DLG team member today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. We’re standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and ready to protect your rights when pursuing a claim.

    Go See Sam