The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) has provided substantial resources to develop and fund the addition of two optional modules to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an 8-question module on sexual violence (SV) and a 7-question module on intimate partner violence (IPV). Data on IPV and/or SV were collected by a varying number of states in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 BRFSS. Gathering these data within BRFSS has provided important information--albeit limited information for a limited number of states. CDC has already begun to analyze these data and is committed to sharing all available findings with the research and prevention community.

The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) demonstrates an increased need for rape crisis centers and rape prevention programs. NISVS is an ongoing, nationally representative survey that assesses experiences of sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence among adult women and men in the United States. It confirms what advocates and educators already know about the prevalence of sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking. It also sheds new light on the scope and context of these forms of violence. The following statistics are from the 2010 NISVS study:

Rape
  • Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States has been raped in her lifetime (18.3%) This translates to almost 22 million women in the United States. The most common form of rape victimization experienced by women was completed forced penetration, experienced by 12.3% of women in the United States.
  • About 5% of women (5.2%) experienced attempted forced penetration, and 8.0% experienced alcohol/ drug-facilitated completed forced penetration. One percent, or approximately 1.3 million women, reported some type of rape victimization in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
  • Approximately 1 in 71 men in the United States (1.4%) reported having been raped in his lifetime, which translates to almost 1.6 million men in the United States (Table 2.2). Too few men reported rape in the 12 months prior to taking the survey to produce a reliable 12 month prevalence estimate.

Sexual Violence Other than Rape
  • Nearly 1 in 2 women (44.6%) and 1 in 5 men (22.2%) experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives. This equates to more than 53 million women and more than 25 million men in the United States. Approximately 1 in 20 women (5.6%) and men (5.3%) experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.

Being Made to Penetrate Someone Else
  • Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported having been made to penetrate someone else in his lifetime. Too few women reported being made to penetrate someone else to produce a reliable estimate.

Sexual Coercion
  • About 1 in 8 women (13%) reported experiencing sexual coercion in her lifetime, which translates to more than 15 million women in the United States. Sexual coercion was reported by 2.0% of women in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. Six percent of men reported sexual coercion in their lifetimes (almost 7 million men), and 1.5% in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.

Unwanted Sexual Contact
  • More than one-quarter of women (27.2%) have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime. This equates to over 32 million women in the United States. The 12 month prevalence of unwanted sexual contact reported by women was 2.2%. Approximately 1 in 9 men (11.7%) reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact in his lifetime, which translates to an estimated 13 million men in the United States. The 12 month prevalence of unwanted sexual contact reported by men was 2.3%.

Non-Contact Unwanted Sexual Experiences
  • Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences were the most common form of sexual violence experienced by both women and men. One-third of women (33.7%) experienced some type of non-contact unwanted sexual experience in their lifetime, and 1 in 33 women (3.0%) experienced this in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. This equates to 40 million women in the United States for the lifetime estimate and 3.5 million women in the last 12 months. Nearly 1 in 8 men (12.8%) reported non-contact unwanted sexual experiences in his lifetime, and 1 in 37 men (2.7%) experienced this type of sexual violence in the 12 months before taking the survey. These numbers translate to 14 million men in the United States who had these experiences in their lifetimes and 3 million men in the last 12 months.

Prevalence of Rape and Other Sexual Violence by Race/Ethnicity
  • Approximately 1 in 5 Black (22.0%) and White (18.8%) non-Hispanic women, and 1 in 7 Hispanic women (14.6%) in the United States have experienced rape at some point in their lives.
  • More than one-quarter of women (26.9%) who identified as American Indian or as Alaska Native and 1 in 3 women (33.5%) who identified as multiracial non-Hispanic reported rape victimization in their lifetime.
  • Just under half of Black non-Hispanic (41.0%), White non- Hispanic (47.6%), and American Indian or Alaska Native (49.0%) women reported sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime and more than half of multiracial non- Hispanic women (58.0%) reported these experiences in their lifetime.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 Hispanic (36.1%) and Asian or Pacific Islander (29.5%) women reported sexual violence other than rape.
  • Between one-fifth and one-quarter of Black non-Hispanic (22.6%), White non-Hispanic (21.5%), Hispanic (26.2%), and American Indian or Alaska Native (20.1%) men experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lives (Table 2.4).
  • About 1 in 6 Asian or Pacific Islander (15.7%) men and nearly one-third of multiracial (31.6%) men in the United States had these experiences during their lifetime.
  • The only reportable estimate of rape was for White non-Hispanic men − 1.7% or an estimated 1.3 million men in this group reported being raped at some point in their lifetime.

Type of Perpetrator in Lifetime Reports of Sexual Violence
  • The majority of both female and male victims of rape knew their perpetrators. More than half of female victims of rape (51.1%) reported that at least one perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner. Four out of 10 of female victims (40.8%) reported being raped by an acquaintance. Approximately 1 in 8 female victims (12.5%) reported being raped by a family member, and 2.5% by a person in a position of authority. About 1 in 7 female victims (13.8%) reported being raped by a stranger. In terms of lifetime alcohol/drug-facilitated rape, half of female victims (50.4%) were raped by an acquaintance, while 43.0% were raped by an intimate partner.
  • Male victims most commonly reported a known perpetrator for all types of sexual violence other than rape. Nearly half of male victims reported an intimate partner (44.8%) or an acquaintance (44.7%) as a perpetrator in situations where the male was made to penetrate someone else. The majority of male victims of sexual coercion (69.7%) reported an intimate partner as a perpetrator. For both unwanted sexual contact (51.7%) and non-contact unwanted sexual experiences (44.9%), approximately 1 in 2 male victims reported an acquaintance as a perpetrator.

Number of Perpetrators in Lifetime Reports of Sexual Violence
  • Among sexual violence victims, the majority of both women and men reported one perpetrator in their lifetime. Almost three- quarters of female rape victims (71.2%) reported being raped by one perpetrator. For female rape victims, 1 in 6 (16.4%) reported two perpetrators and 1 in 8 (12.4%) reported three or more perpetrators in their lifetime.
  • Almost half of female victims (45.8%) of lifetime sexual violence other than rape reported one perpetrator, approximately one-quarter (23.4%) reported two perpetrators, and just under one-third (30.8%) reported three or more perpetrators.
  • For male victims of rape and sexual violence other than rape, the large majority (86.6% and 92.1%, respectively) reported one perpetrator in their lifetime (data not shown). Too few male victims reported two or more perpetrators to produce a reliable estimate.

Sex of Perpetrator in Lifetime Reports of Sexual Violence
  • Most perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence against women were male. For female rape victims, 98.1% reported only male perpetrators. Additionally, 92.5% of female victims of sexual violence other than rape reported only male perpetrators. For male victims, the sex of the perpetrator varied by the type of sexual violence experienced. The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpetrators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators (data not shown).

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that:

  • Bisexual women had significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape and sexual violence other than rape by any perpetrator when compared to both lesbian and heterosexual women.
  • Bisexual women had significantly higher lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner when compared to both lesbian and heterosexual women.
  • Lesbian women and gay men reported levels of intimate partner violence and sexual violence equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals.

Sexual violence by any perpetrator:
Lifetime prevalence of rape for women:
Lesbian: 13.1%
Bisexual: 46.1%
Heterosexual: 17.4%

Lifetime prevalence of rape for men:
Gay: Numbers too small to estimate
Bisexual: Numbers too small to estimate
Heterosexual: 0.7%

Lifetime prevalence of sexual violence other than rape for women:
Lesbian: 46.4%
Bisexual: 74.9%
Heterosexual: 43.3%

Lifetime prevalence of sexual violence other than rape for men:
Gay: 40.2%
Bisexual: 47.7%
Heterosexual: 20.8%

  • The majority of lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women (85.2%, 87.5%, 94.7%) who experienced sexual violence other than rape reported having only male perpetrators.
  • 78.6% of gay men and 65.8% of bisexual men who experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime reported having only male perpetrators.
  • 28.6 of heterosexual men who experienced sexual violence other than rape reported only male perpetrators, 54.8% reported only female perpetrators, and 16.6% reported both male and female perpetrators.

State-Level Data

In 2017, CDC released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey - State Report. The report uses 2010-2012 NISVS data to produce national and state-level victimization estimates for sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. Also, see the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's talking points document.


For more information, visit:
http://www.ibiblio.org/rcip/stats
American Bar Association - Commission on Domestic Violence: Key Statistics http://www.abanet.org/domviol/statistics.html


Data Summaries

Data Sets On & Related to Violence Against Women: This resource page features a compilation of publicly-accessible online data sets on violence against women, and provides information about utilizing and/or analyzing data to enhance the work of advocates and others working to end domestic and sexual violence. (VAWnet)

National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS):
conducted in 1995 and 1996 through a collaboration between the Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have continued the long-term partnership with the National Institute of Justice and have initiated a new partnership with the Department of Defense, who is also interested in addressing violence against women issues.