Rapes in US: 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men, face the crime in their lifetimes

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A report just released and prepared by the White House Council on Women and Girls, and the Office of the Vice President revealed the shocking statistics

Consider the below.

Female victims

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women – or nearly 22 million – have been raped in their lifetimes
  • College students are particularly vulnerable as 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college
  • Nearly half of female survivors were raped before they were 18
  • Over a third of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults
  • 33.5% of multiracial women have been raped, as have 27% of American Indian and Alaska Native women, compared to 15% of Hispanic, 22% of Black, and 19% of White women
  • Most victims know their assailants and the vast majority (nearly 98%) of perpetrators are male

Male victims

  • 1 in 71 men – or almost 1.6 million – have been raped during their lives
  • Over one-quarter of male survivors were raped before they were 10

The report titled, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action, analysed the most recent and reliable data about rape and sexual assault in the US. Apart from identifying those most at risk of sexual crimes and examining the cost of such crimes to the survivors as well as the community, the report also describes the response of the criminal justice system in US as “too often inadequate”.

Moreover, the report elaborates, “Rape survivors often suffer life-long physical and mental health problems including depression, chronic pain, diabetes, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They are also more likely than non-victims to attempt or consider suicide.”

Economic costs

Interestingly, the report also quantified the “economic costs of a rape, accounting for medical and victim services, loss ofproductivity, decreased quality of life, and law enforcement resources”. Several studies using different methodologies have put the costs to be significant ranging between US$87,000 and US$240,776 every rape, the authors added.

US colleges

The report also detailed, what it called “a particular problem”, in the US colleges, as 1 in 5 women in the country reported been sexually assaulted while been in college.

“The dynamics of college life appear to fuel the problem, as many victims are abused while they’re drunk, under the influence of drugs, passed out, or otherwise incapacitated. Most college victims are assaulted by someone they know – and parties are often the site of these crimes. Notably, campus assailants are often serial offenders: one study found that of the men who admitted to committing rape or attempted rape, some 63% said they committed an average of six rapes each. College sexual assault survivors suffer from high levels of mental health problems (like depression and PTSD) and drug and alcohol abuse. Reporting rates are also particularly low.”

President’s response

Barack Obama, US President, taking cognisance of the report signed the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum and established a White House Task Force to protect students from sexual crimes. “The prevalence of rape and sexual assault at our Nation’s institutions of higher education is both deeply troubling and a call to action,” he said.

The Task Force, within 90 days, will make recommendations to the President regarding policies and protocols for institutions to prevent rapes and sexual assaults; providing crisis intervention and advocacy services; establishing grievance and investigation protocols; as well as devising orientation modules for students, staff, and the faculty.

Obama also directed the Task Force to submit an implementation report with respect to the memorandum by January 2015 detailing the results achieved.

President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)    

President Barack Obama signs the Campus Sexual Assault Presidential Memorandum during a White House Council on Women and Girls meeting in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)    

Credit: Newzzit