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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 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:
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 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.
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.
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.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.