Every 2 Minutes
One in three women are raped in their lifetime and, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, an American is raped or sexually assaulted once every two minutes. And, while the good news is that rape has decreased along with other violent crimes, calls for help are up more than 40% in the last 2 years.
Perhaps one of the most startling aspects of sex crimes is how
many go unreported. Only about 1/3 of rapes and/or sexual assaults are ever
reported to the police. The most common reasons given by women for
not reporting these crimes are the belief that it is a private or
personal matter and that they fear reprisal from the assailant.
This may be because a woman's risk of being raped by someone she
knows is four times greater than being raped by a stranger; in
fact, 66% of rape and/or sexual assault victims knew their assailants. The good news,
however, is more and more survivors are speaking out publicly,
helping to lessen the stigma long associated with rape and its
Reducing the Risk
Any woman can be a rape victim. There are steps one can take,
however, to reduce the risk of being raped.
Women armed with the truth about rape and self-defense can use it
to make their own decisions about self-protection. A lot of
information on rape self-defense focuses on how to respond to a
stranger attack. As previously stated, however, almost 2 out of 3
women who are raped are assaulted by someone they know. Also,
alcohol is the most common "weapon" used in sexual
assaults. Approximately, 75% of sexual assaults involve the use of
alcohol. Commonly, a perpetrator will make many drinks available
to an intended victim, while consuming less alcohol himself. With
this in mind, do what feels right to you because you are the only
one who can choose which options feel most safe or accessible to
You're Not to Blame
True rape prevention will only occur when our communities fight
back against rape and other forms of abuse. Women have a right to
move in the world without having people hurt them. And, remember,
no matter what a woman does (or doesn't do), it is not their fault
if they are assaulted.