CONTENT WARNING: This blog discusses rape and other forms of sexual violence.
Since 2001, April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Over the past year and half, the #MeToo movement has grown to bring sexual violence, abuse, and toxic behavior into the forefront of American culture, but there is still much misinformation and stigma to combat to ensure the health and safety of everyone affected. Rape is the most under-reported crime, with 63% of sexual assaults not being reported to police. Despite misconceptions, the prevalence of false reporting is low — between 2-7%. The consequences of sexual assault reach far into the lives of survivors, families, and communities and have a major effect on public health.
Victims of sexual harassment and assault are often thought of as women, but men can also be affected. Statistically, one in five women and one in 67 men are raped at some point in their lives. Nearly 50% of women and 20% of men experience sexual violence other than rape.
Vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by sexual violence:
- 44% of lesbains and 61% of bisexual women compared to 35% of heterosexual women;
- 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men compared to 21% of heterosexual men;
- 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.