Approximately one-fourth (1/4) to one-third (1/3) of all women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. Twenty to thirty percent (20-30%) of men will be victims before they are eighteen. Only about 1 out of every 10 sexual assaults are ever reported to law enforcement. (Sexual Assault Training Manual, Texas Office of the Attorney General and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, 2000.)
Current or former spouses or intimate partners committed 17% of the sexual assaults in 2000. 42% of sexual assaults were committed by someone the victim identified as a friend or acquaintance. Only a third of victims did not know their attacker. (Rennison, C. June 2001. Criminal Victimization 2000: Changes 1999-2000 with Trends 1993-2000. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.)
Sexual assault is about POWER and CONTROL- not sex. Offenders use sexualized violence to overpower and control another person. Sexual assault is a premeditated crime where 71% of offenders plan their assault and deliberately choose their victim. (Sexual Assault Training Manual, Texas Office of the Attorney General and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, 2000.)
Sexual assault occurs: 40% in the victims home 20% in the home of a friend, relative or neighbor 10% on the street and 7% in a parking lot or garage. (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault brochure.)
Teens 16 to 19 were three and one half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. Adolescents ages 12 to 17 are more likely to be sexually assaulted by young adults 18 to 24. Children under 12 are more likely to be sexually assaulted by persons under age 18. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1999. National Crime Victimization Survey. U.S. Department of Justice.)
Prevention and Strategies to Overcome
How Can I Avoid Being Sexually Assaulted?
Nothing and no one can guarantee that you will never be sexually assaulted. However, you can reduce your risk of a sexual assault by:
- Being aware of your surroundings looking around you and noticing the people who are near or behind you
- Being assertive walking confidently letting people know when you are uncomfortable with their proximity or actions
- Keeping your doors and windows locked, especially when you are home alone
- Being sure that you know who you are opening your door to confirming the identity of repair/sales persons
- Taking a self-defense course
- Trusting your instincts and recognizing risky situations
If You Are Sexually Assaulted
- Know that it is not your fault. You did not do anything to cause it, and you are not to blame.
- Seek emotional support from a friend or relative with whom you feel comfortable
- Go to the nearest hospital. If you wish to pursue criminal action, DO NOT douche, bathe, shower, eat or drink anything or change clothes before you go.
- Report the rape to the authorities (this does not mean you must proceed with prosecution).
Call Bay Area Turning Point for help. Even if you do not report the rape or press charges, free and confidential services, including emergency accompaniment and support, are available 24 hours a day.
Call our crisis hot-line at (281) 286-2525.