Sadly, sexual abuse and sexual assault happen more often than we care to speak of, but we need to be more aware of it before we can handle these prevalent problems.
These issues aren’t caused by a single ideal, but instead includes a set of insinuations and effects.
We have researched the most recent and accurate sexual abuse statistics to help bring awareness to our readers and hopefully beyond.
In this article we will discuss the various complexities and data regarding sexual abuse across demographics and some startling statistics.
We will also address the impact on the mental health of the victims due to the trauma and how it can impact them in the future.
Let’s be aware of sexual abuse and assault and be part of the solution in whatever way we can.
- Over 50% of women and over 30% of men have fallen victim to sexual abuse.
- 2 in 5 Australians have fallen victim to some form of sexual or physical abuse
- Sexual abuse starts at an early age, which is before the person is 25 years old.
- Sexual abuse unequally impacts some demographic groups more than others.
- It costs $122,461 (USD) per rape victim.
- 93% of underaged victims of sexual abuse know their perpetrator.
- Globally, 6% of girls and women between 15 and 49 years old have been sexually abused.
- IPV is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa with 33% of women aged 15 to 49 having experienced IPV.
- 736 million women across the globe have experienced sexual abuse.
- Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual abuse events are reported to law enforcement.
Top Sexual Abuse Statistics in 2023
1. Over 50% of Women and Over 30% of Men Have Fallen Victim to Sexual Abuse.
The CDC reported that more than 50% of women and over 30% of men have experienced some form of sexual violence that involved physical contact in their lifetimes.
Additional data shows that one in four women have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
The figures for men in this instance are one in 26 men.
Women are also more apt to experience sexual harassment in the public places than men (33.33% vs 11.11%).
2. 2 in 5 Australians Have Fallen Victim to Some Form of Sexual or Physical Abuse.
It’s estimated that 8 million Australians (41%) aged 18 and older have experienced some form of sexual violence since they were 15 years old.
This data comes from the PSS (Personal Safety Survey) and was published by the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Moreover, the survey found that 43% of men and 39% of women fell victim to sexual or physical violence of some kind since they were 15 years old.
3. Sexual Abuse Starts at An Early Age, Which Is Before the Person Is 25 Years Old.
While sexual abuse (violence) starts early with over 80% of rape survivors being younger than 25 years old. Furthermore, over half of individuals were raped when they were under 18 years old (a minor).
Sadly, almost 8 in 10 (80%) male rape survivors said they were forced to penetrate someone before they were aged 25.
Another 40% said they were forced to penetrate someone else when they were younger than 18.
4. Sexual Abuse Unequally Impacts Some Demographic Groups More than Others.
While no one is immune from sexual abuse since it can happen to anyone.
Some demographic groups experience higher instances than others.
For example, certain minority groups (race, ethnic, and women) fall victim more often than others.
In fact, over 40% of non-Hispanic Alaska Native, American Indian, and Multiracial women have been raped during their lifetime.
5. It Costs $122,461 (USD) per Rape Victim.
Besides the emotional and physical costs of rape and other sexual abuse, it costs $122,461 (USD) per victim in criminal justice actions, lost productivity, medical expenses, and other financial costs.
We don’t want to lighten the cost of emotional and physical problems that arise from sexual abuse.
We just want to bring forward that there are even more costs than people may realize.
6. 93% of Underaged Victims of Sexual Abuse Know Their Perpetrator.
A startling 93% of sexual abuse victims under 18 years old know their perpetrator.
Of the 93%, 59% are acquaintances, 34% are family, and only 7% are total strangers.
These figures account for most children and teenage sexual abuse victims.
7. Globally, 6% of Girls and Women Between 15 and 49 Years Old Have Been Sexually Abused.
World Bank reported that as of 2022, 6% of women and girls from all over the world have been sexually abused by a “non-partner” at least once since they were 15 years old.
Furthermore, 26% of women aged 15 and over have fallen victim to sexual abuse by a partner (IPV: intimate partner violence).
WHO estimated that 641 million women across the world have been impacted, of which 245 million are 15 years old and older.
8. IPV is Prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa with 33% of Women Aged 15 to 49 Having Experienced IPV.
IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) is higher in some parts of the world than others.
In Sub-Saharan Africa regions where 33% of women aged 15 to 49 have fallen victim to IPT during their lifetime.
Another 20% have endured this over the past year.
In South Asia, 35% of women aged 15 to 49 have experienced IPC in their lifetime and 19% in just the past year.
9. 736 Million Women Across the Globe Have Experienced Sexual Abuse.
According to World Bank, WHO estimated in 2021 that of all sexual abuse (IPV and NPSV) among women aged 15 and older, 736 million are impacted at the global level.
For perspective, IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse perpetrated by an intimate partner or husband.
NPSV is short for Non-partner Sexual Violence).
(WHO, World Bank)
10. Only 310 out Of Every 1,000 Sexual Abuse Events Are Reported to Law Enforcement.
Unfortunately, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual abuse crimes are reported to the police.
Also, 15.8% to 35% of all sexual abuse (rape, assault, violence, etc.) is not reported to the authorities.
There are several reasons this horrific crime isn’t reported, which is why we want to raise awareness.
11. Men and Women with Disabilities Face a Double Risk of Sexual Abuse than Those without Disabilities.
The sad truth about sexual abuse is that individuals with disabilities (male and female) are at twice the risk of experiencing sexual abuse/assault than individuals who have no disability.
What’s worse is that most of these instances occur in care facilities by those who work there and/or are “caretakers” of those they abuse.
In fact, it often happens during therapy or treatment sessions.
12. 33% of Women Who Have Been Raped Consider Suicide.
The mental impact of sexual abuse (rape, assault, etc.) causes various levels of depression.
In fact, 94% of women who have experienced rape present with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) within 2 weeks after the incident.
Another 33% of these women contemplate suicide and 13% attempt suicide.
In 2022, it was estimated that in the U.S. alone, 70 women commit suicide after an act of sexual abuse/violence every day.
(Facebook: TEARS Speak, RAINN²)
13. 82% of All Minor Rape Victims Are Girls.
Statistics show that 82% of all rape victims under 18 years old are female.
More statistics show that 90% of adult sexual abuse (rape) victims are female. Sadly, women between 16 and 19 years old are four times more apt to experience a sexual assault (abuse, rape, etc.) than the overall population of the United States.
Also, college aged women (18 to 24 years old) are three time more apt to experience some form of sexual violence.
14. 5,900 Native Americans Aged 12 and Over Experience Sexual Abuse Every Year.
American Indians are at double the risk of experiencing sexual abuse, sexual assault, or rape compared to other races and ethnic groups in America.
An average of 5,900 Native Americans aged 12 and older are sexually abused every year.
Additionally, 41% of these assaults are perpetrated by a stranger.
Worse than that, 34% of these cases are committed by an acquaintance and another 25% by a family member or intimate partner.
15. According to The Department of Justice, 16.3% of Adolescents (14-17) Were Sexually Abused.
In a 2009 report, 16.3% of young people aged 14 to 17 were sexually abused over 2008 to 2009.
This age group is also considered to be at a much higher risk of sexual abuse, rape, assaults, and other sexually violent crimes than other demographic groups.
16. In 2019, 38% of Women and 14% of Men Reported Sexual Harassment in The Workplace.
2019 statistics revealed that 38% of women and 14% of men reported sexual harassment in the workplace.
How many cases end in sexual assaults? Data shows that 7% of women and 4% of men have been sexually abused at work.
Moreover, 76% of sexual assaults on men are perpetrated by women, though male coworkers or bosses sexually abuse women more often (94%).
(NSVRC², What to Become)
17. 79.6% of Women Under Age 25 Have Experienced at Least One Completed Rape.
Data from 2010 revealed that most women rape victims (79.6%) experienced their first sexual assault before they were 25 years old.
Furthermore, 42.2% said their first instance of rape occurred before they turned 18.
18. Studies Show that An Estimated 28% of Male Sexual Abuse Victims Experienced Their First Abuse at 10 Years Old or Younger.
More than one-quarter (27.8%) of male sexual abuse survivors said their first assault happened when they were 10 years old or younger.
This tells us how serious this crime is today and how it impacts survivors.
(Blossoming Lotus Therapy, NSVRC³)
19. The Pentagon Reported Over 8,500 Sexual Assault Cases in 2021 in The Military Sector.
Unfortunately, military sexual abuse victims don’t often come forward, so not as many are reported that occur.
As of 2021, the Pentagon said over 8,500 sexual assault cases were reported.
For reference, that’s an increase of 13% over 2020.
(The Washington Post)
20. Victims of Sexual Abuse Are 6 Times More Apt to Use Cocaine.
When we address how sexual abuse affects others, we must realize that some victims may turn to drugs and alcohol.
In fact, sexual abuse victims are 6 times more apt to use cocaine.
They are also 3 times more apt to use marijuana.
Therefore, victims of sexual abuse/assaults are more likely to engage in substance abuse.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Any unwanted sexual contact or activity that occurs to an individual without their consent is sexual abuse.
Instances of sexual abuse range from sexual assault, rape, child sexual abuse, incest, and sexual harassment.
Who Is Most Apt to Fall Victim to Sexual Abuse?
There is no specific financial status, age, gender, or race that is immune to sexual abuse.
While this is true, there are some demographics that paint a picture of sexual abuse among specific groups.
What Are Some Signs of Sexual Abuse?
This is an important question to ask and information to know.
There are several signs of sexual abuse that usually vary depending on the person and the kind of abuse.
The most common signs of sexual abuse include:
• Behavioral changes like acting out (being aggressive), being anxious or depressed, and/or withdrawal from friends and family.
• Physically the abused person may feel pain in or around their genitals, have nightmares, and/or have problems sleeping.
• Recurring images or thoughts about the abuse.
• Eating habits change like overeating or refusing to eat.
• Problems with focus and concentration.
What Should You Do if You Suspect that Someone Is Being Sexually Abused?
If you see signs of sexual abuse in someone you know and you suspect it may have happened or may be happening, it’s vital that you seek ways to help them.
Speak with someone you trust like a parent, teacher, or counselor.
If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Otherwise, you can call Child Help at 800.422.4453 or text 800.422.4453 if you’re in America.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 800.856.HOPE and is the same number for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) which is at rainn.org.
If you live in another country, it’s prudent to know any emergency numbers to call in case sexual abuse is happening to someone.
Reach out to these authorities to report it.
Why Isn’t Sexual Abuse Reported so Often?
The top 5 main reasons that people don’t report sexual abuse include:
1. The fear of retaliation: Especially in cases where the person fears physical abuse, the fear of retaliation is a major driver for leaving these crimes unreported.
This accounts for 62% of abused individuals.
2. They feel shame: Sexual abuse, really any form of abuse, is a dehumanizing and humiliating experience to the abused victims.
They tend to blame themselves for the abuse, so they won’t report it even when it’s obvious.
It may seem like a distorted view of abuse, but it’s how the abused individual perceives things.
We need to understand that better if we plan to help. They don’t need further shame.
3. An authority figure failed to help: In some cases, sexual abuse is reported, but the official to whom it was reported didn’t do anything about it. They need to do better.
4. Not wanting to cause trouble for the perpetrator: The fact is that 7% of sexual abuse survivors don’t want to cause trouble for the offender.
5. They don’t want their friends and family to know: It can be challenging to talk about anything sexual in some families, so some people who experience a sexual assault or rape don’t want their family or friends to know about it.
This data relates to any form of rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse respectively.
Since sexual abuse is not exclusive in America or any one country, we included several global statistics to show the prevalence in the world’s society.
We need to know more about this and how to be part of the solution.
We should all have a better idea of sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and other sexually charged crimes after exploring the statistics.
We have also included some FAQs to help you be more enlightened and how you can help those who have suffered at the hands of a sexual abuser.
You have some of the signs exhibited by those who have experienced heinous abuse.
We also gave you some contact information to report sexual abuse or other sexual crimes in the United States.
We highly recommend that you learn where to report such crimes in your own country or region.
You may also have local entities to contact for immediate help.
We hope you feel enlightened and more aware after reading these sexual abuse statistics today.