How often does sexual assault occur?
There is an average of 293,066 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year.1
Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.
Here's the math. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)--there is an average of 293,066 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year.
There are 525,600 minutes in a non-leap year. That makes 31,536,000 seconds/year. So, 31,536,000 divided by 293,066 comes out to 1 sexual assault every 107 seconds.
When do sexual assaults occur?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's NCVS study, rates of sexual assault (meaning, the number of victims per 1,000 people age 12 or older) fluctuate depending, in part, on the time of year. Summer has the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, while winter and fall the lowest. From 1993-2010, rape and sexual assault rates were on average 10% lower in the fall than the summer, 9% lower on average in the winter, and 6% lower on average in the spring.2
Sexual assault has fallen by more than 50% in recent years.3
Had the 1993 rate held steady, about 9.7 million Americans would have been assaulted in the last 20 years.
Thanks to the decline, the actual number of victims was about 4.2 million. In other words, if not for the progress we've made in the last 20 years, an additional 5.5 million Americans would have become victims of sexual violence.
While we should be happy that we’re making progress, we are still a very long way from solving this problem. Every two minutes, another American is sexually assaulted.
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- U.S. Department of Justice. National Crime Victimization Survey. 2009-2013.
- U.S. Department of Justice. Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends. 2014.
- U.S. Department of Justice. National Crime Victimization Survey. 1993-2013.