A major (more than 16,000 participants) study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Defense found that almost 1 in 5 American women and 1 in 71 American men have experience a rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, and that the annual number of rapes in the U.S. is estimated at more than 1 million. While these results are not a surprise, and correspond with results found in other studies, it is still valuable to have this level of data gathered in such a thorough, careful study.
You can find the report and the associated press releases on the CDC’s website. I’m adding a link to the sidebar too (under Sexual Assault Statistical Information) so you can find it again when you carefully need to explain to someone for the 300th time that rape is a huge problem in the U.S. and just because no one has told him (or her, but this conversation often happens with hims) about their experiences doesn’t mean that it is not happening.
Take a look too at what the report has to say about the consequences of surviving an assault:
A vast majority of women who said they had been victims of sexual violence, rape or stalking reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, as did about one-third of the men.
Women who had experienced such violence were also more likely to report having asthma, diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome than women who had not. Both men and women who had been assaulted were more likely to report frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, limitations on activity, and poor physical and mental health.
“We’ve seen this association with chronic health conditions in smaller studies before,” said Lisa James, director of health for Futures Without Violence, a national nonprofit group based in San Francisco that advocates for programs to end violence against women and girls.
“People who grow up with violence adopt coping strategies that can lead to poor health outcomes,” she said. “We know that women in abusive relationships are at increased risk for smoking, for example.”
So maybe now we can start talking a little more seriously about preventing this major public health menace?
h/t to Jezebel, and a major shout-out to the Jezebel commentors, who did a really lovely job of politely but firmly telling the first person to deny these statistics based on his experience just why he was wrong.