Facts About Rape Crimes
The numbers are enough to frighten any woman — particularly if she's the mother of a young child:
According to the FBI, the rate of forcible rapes in 2006 in the United States was estimated at 60.9 offenses per 100,000 women1. Furthermore, more than 45 percent of rape victims are under the age of 182.
What is rape?
Rape is unwanted and forced sexual intercourse. It is often referred to as sexual assault, but there are other types of sexual assault that are not necessarily rape.
How do experts classify the crime of rape?
Rape is both a sex crime and a crime of violence. Rapists use violence or the threat of violence to gain power over the rape victim.
Who are rape victims?
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12, and girls between 16 and 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. Approximately 80% of all rape victims are white, but women of other races are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than white women are.3
Rape victims suffer after the fact as well. Compared to the general population, they're three times more likely to suffer from depression, four times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, six times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to become alcoholic, and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.3
Where do rapes happen?
RAINN notes that more than 50 percent of all rape and sexual assault incidents were reported to take place in or within one mile of the home. Two in 10 rapes take place at the home of a relative, friend or neighbor.3
How can rape be avoided?
Different situations call for different responses, but there are a few common ways to lower your risk of sexual assault:
- When you go out, travel in a group or at least with a trusted friend.
- Stay alert at all times. Don't drink so much that you might fall asleep or, worse, pass out.
- Don't accept drinks from strangers, particularly drinks in open containers, and don't leave your drink unattended if you're at a party or in a bar. Date-rape drugs can be easily concealed in drinks.
- If you're walking, stay in high-traffic, lighted areas and familiar neighborhoods, and walk toward traffic so you can see cars approach you.
- If you're driving, keep your doors locked and your windows closed, particularly after dark.
- If you're getting into a car in a parking lot at night, ask the attendant to escort you to your car. If no attendant is available, get your keys ready to unlock the car before you reach it, and lock the door immediately after you get in. If you see anything suspicious in an unattended parking lot, don't go to your car; find a safe place to wait, or ask a trusted escort to accompany you to your car.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers or other strangers. If a motorist is stranded, use a cellphone to call for help.
- If your car breaks down, stay inside and call for help.
- Avoid people and areas that arouse your suspicions.
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