Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault affects many lives—both directly and indirectly. It is a crime that spans age, sexual orientation, religion and gender, and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It is estimated that one in five women and one in 71 men are raped in their lifetimes in the United States. Together, that’s more than 23.6 million survivors.
While precise legal definitions vary by states and jurisdictions, rape is the term commonly used to mean forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Throughout this section, we use the terms sexual assault or sexual violence to refer to any to unwanted sexual act against or without a person’s consent—any sexual, physical verbal or visual, act that forces a person against their will to have unwanted sexual contact or attention.
No matter what the circumstances of the crime are, sexual violence is a weapon used by perpetrators to hurt and dominate others—motivated by a need to control, humiliate and harm. It is never a survivor’s fault.
There are resources available for you. You are not alone. In an emergency, call 911.
National Child Abuse Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline