April 2018: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault in the Age of Trump

The Irony and Offensiveness of Donald Trump . . . and What You Need to be Aware of with Sexual Assault in the United States

Aspen Lofgren

by Aspen Lofgren, UV Team Member and SWJ Blogger

I am numb. On March 30th, 2018, President Donald J. Trump Proclaimed April 2018 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. A man, who has countless allegations against him of sexual assault, bragged about touching (grabbing) women inappropriately, and claims these allegations as fake news.

I have no words or a description of the feelings I felt after I saw this “proclamation”. It would be like if Jeffrey Dahmer encouraged people to try Veganuary—um, NO… he ate his victims! If any good has come from this, is that it has made a lot of people upset and talk about the irony of a perpetrator to make this sort of statement and actually share about Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

So let’s jump into the statistics…

Just a heads up, the following information has been cited directly from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Statistics page. I could not pick and choose which statistics I would include in this post—maybe whoever posts this will narrow it down because it’s a lot of information. One complaint I have is that these statistics do not include numbers on LGBTQ* and the rates of sexual assault and rape amongst this population is much high. Sexual assault rates are shockingly high in bisexual and transgender communities. Over 60 percent of bi-identified women and 64 percent of transgender people experience sexual assault during their lifetimes. 

Also, if you don’t get to the bottom—please listen and love our brothers, sisters, and non-binary folks who are victims of sexual assault. Don’t just listen to the white women’s stories, listen to stories of women of color, white men, trans women of color white, non-binary folks, men of color, non-binary folks of color, white trans men, LGBTQ* identifying people , and any other group I left out. As a white passing queer lady, I have recognized my privilege in sharing my story and believe we need to do a better job at listening to this “other” population.

Sexual Assault in the United States

One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)

In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)

51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance (a)

52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger (a)

Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)

91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male (m)

In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator (j)

Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work (c)

Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault

The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)

Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)

81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)

Health care is 16% higher for women sexually abused as children and 36% higher for women physically and sexually abused as children (k)

Child Sexual Abuse

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old (d)

30% of women were between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of their first completed rape (a)

12.3% of women were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)

27.8% of men were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)

More than one third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adult (a)

96% of people who sexually abuse children are male, and 76.8% of people who sexually abuse children are adults (l)

34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child (l)

It is estimated that 325,000 children per year are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial child sexual exploitation (k)

The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14 years old, and the average age at which boys first become victims of prostitution is 11-13 years old (k)

Only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the authorities (f)

Campus Sexual Assault

20% - 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college (b)

A 2002 study revealed that 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes (h)

More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault (b)

27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact (e)

Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment (p)

Crime Reports

Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)

The prevalence of false reporting is low, between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports (i). A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports (h). Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports (g).



·    For immediate help: If you have been sexually assaulted and are in crisis please click here to find your local rape crisis center or dial 9-1-1.

·    RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/  Call: 800.6 56.HOPE (4673) to be connected with trained staff from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

·    National Sexual Violence Resource Center: https://www.nsvrc.org/

·    Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: http://www.mncasa.org/