Women’s Health

April is

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Embrace Your Voice

Sexual Assualt Awareness Month graphic

April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a time devoted to increasing awareness of the pressing problem of sexual assault and educating people about how to prevent it.

Strikingly, U.S. statistics reveal that one sexual assault occurs every two minutes. Think about that – in about the time that it takes you to read this post, another victim will be sexually assaulted.

The good news is that the rate of sexual assault in this country has actually decreased by more than 50 percent since 1993 – thanks in large part to the efforts of those in the violence against women movement who have worked tirelessly to end violence, raise awareness, and advocate for better laws.

But while the gains have been impressive, our work is far from over.

In the spirit of awareness, we should all be equipped with the facts on sexual assault. Myths surrounding sexual assault are commonplace, and unfortunately one of the consequences is that the severity of sexual assault is often denied and victims are left without the support they need. So this April, arm yourself with facts and join the fight against sexual assault.
Here are ten things you should know about sexual assault:

  1. Every 2 minutes, another American is sexually assaulted.
  2. Nearly 1 out of every 5 American women has experienced rape at some time in their lives.
  3. About 9 out of every 10 rape victims are female. Women are are over 14 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than men.
  4. Men can be victims, too: About 2-3% of American men report experiencing an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  5. About 1 in 6 (15%) of sexual assault victims are children.
  6. Most victims know their assailant.
  7. College-age women are particularly at risk
  8. The effects of sexual assault are severe and long-lasting:
    Victims of sexual assault are:
    3 times more likely to suffer from depression
    6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
    13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
    26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
    4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
  9. Rape results in approximately 32,000 pregnancies each year
  10. False accusations of rape and sexual assault are exceedingly rare.

All of us have a role to play in stopping the preventable scourge of sexual violence. You can help by sharing these facts and confronting myths when you hear them.