Apologies for the lack of posts the last couple of days. I needed a bit of a break for my own heart, and soul, and then I managed to get the cold that’s going around and needed a break so I could stop coughing and snuffling.
Today I’d like us to think about numbers, and do some math. I know, it’s not the most exciting bit, and indeed some dread the math, but it’s important that we get a picture of the scope of the problem of rape & sexual violence. So take a breath…
In the U.S. there are an average of 296,066 victims (age 12 and older) of rape and sexual assault each year.
There are 31,536,000 seconds per year in a non leap year. Dividing that by the number of victims (296,066) we reach an average of one assault every 107 seconds.
Think about that … someone is assaulted every 107 seconds.
Set your timer for 107 seconds (1 minute 47 seconds) and think about it.
17.7 million women (1 out of every 6) in the U.S. have been victims of attempted or completed rapes in their lifetimes.
2.78 million men (1 out of every 33) in the U.S. have been victims of attempted or completed rapes in their lifetimes.
93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
Approximately 80% of adult victims know their attacker.
For every 100 rapes in the U.S.
- 46 will be reported
- 12 will result in an arrest
- 9 will be prosecuted
- 5 will result in conviction
- 3 will serve more than one day in jail
Less than 2% of reported rapes are found to be false allegations.
I give you these statistics to help us understand that the problem is huge. It affects people we know, we work with, we go to school with, we sit in church with. And these are conservative statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Justice. More realistically, because rape is the most underreported crime, it’s probably 1 in 3 women in the U.S. and 1 in 2 women worldwide who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
So my friends, I beg you to do something about it. Stand up for survivors. Support them. Listen to them. Make them a cup of tea and speak those most important words, “I believe you”.
And then work to change the culture we live in – don’t let rape and sexualized jokes go unchallenged; don’t allow power, prestige, sports status, or other things absolve people from responsibility for their actions; work to lobby for better support of those who do report, and for education for police officers, and attorneys who work with survivors; teach everyone about affirmative consent (about actually saying yes, and that no never, ever means yes).
(Statistics compiled from U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey 2000-2013; National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control Prevalence Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1989); U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2000 Sexual Assault of Young Children As Reported to Law Enforcement)