Key Takeaways from Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month teal ribbon

What You Need to Know About Sexual Assault

The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines sexual assault as a wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape, that includes attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between a victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling in addition to verbal threats.

However, law enforcement agencies and court officials typically refer to rape and attempted rape as forms of sexual assault. Sexual assault covers a range of crimes such as sexual harassment, forcible sodomy, child pornography and unwanted sexual touching, to name some. It is broadly defined and, according to the statistics, immensely widespread.

As such, let’s look at the numbers surrounding sexual assault in the United States. The information below is provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and RAINN:

  • 37% of the total violent victimization experienced was identified as rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault.
  • The self-reported incidence of rape or sexual assault more than doubled from 1.4 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2017 to 2.7 in 2018.
  • Surveys reveal that an estimated 734,630 people were raped (threatened, attempted, or completed) in the United States in 2018.
  • Despite the increase in self-reports of rape and sexual assault, there was a decrease in reporting to police from 2017 to 2018. 40% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police in 2017, but only about 25% were reported to police in 2018.
  • Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
  • Every 9 minutes, a child is sexually assaulted.
  • Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.
  • As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.
  • People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.
  • 459,310 Americans were raped or sexually assaulted in 2019.

Were You Charged with Sexual Assault?

As you can see, sexual assault is a widely-committed offense that law enforcement officers are working to mitigate. In doing so, they tend to side with reported victims of sexual assault rather than understanding both sides of the story. As a result, sexual assault suspects often feel like they are guilty rather than innocent until proven guilty.

At the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C., however, our clients are treated with the respect and compassion they deserve, because our Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer knows that everyone is innocent until their verdict says otherwise. Thus, we encourage you to reach out to us if you would like powerhouse legal defense in your corner. We are just a phone call away at (707) 418-5352!

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