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Rape and Sexual Assault Statistics

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Some facts about sexual assault:

  • Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
  • Between 1 in 4 women experienced completed or attempted rape during their college years (Fisher, Cullen, and Turner 2000). Statistics vary according to how the numbers are processed and RAINN reports the figure as 1 in 6.
  • Over 32,000 pregnancies result from rape every year (Holmes et al., 1996) CDC
  • In 1960 law enforcement cited false reporting at 20%. By 1973 the statistics had dropped to 15%. After 1973 the New York city police department used female officers to investigate sexual assault cases and the false reporting rate dropped to 2% according to the FBI. False reporting statistics are from: DiCanio, M. (1993). The encyclopedia of violence : origins, attitudes, consequences. New York : Facts on File

Scroll down for more statistics.


National Archive of Criminal Justice Data from nationalatlas.gov


These resources have good narrative statements on statistics

- Quote Resources-

Statistics from RAINN


Guide to Statistics from AARDVARC


Sexual Violence statistics from National Center for Injury Prevention and Control


The extent, nature and consequences of sexual victimization



Chart format statistics

The main government resources from which most organizations derive their data are:

Department of Justice FBI


Statistics from the FBI - Uniform Crime Reporting from the DOJ


National Crime Victimization Survey
(NCVS) from the DOJ.


An explanation:

"The U.S. Department of Justice administers two statistical programs to
measure the magnitude, nature, and impact of crime in the nation: the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Each of these programs produces
valuable information about aspects of the nation’s crime problem. Because the UCR and NCVS programs are conducted for different purposes, use different methods, and focus on somewhat different aspects
of crime, the information they produce together provides a more comprehensive panorama of the nation’s crime problem
than either could produce alone." US Dept. of Census

UCR: "Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)—The FBI’s UCR Program, which began in 1929, collects information on the following crimes reported to law enforcement authorities: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larcenytheft, motor vehicle theft, and arson."

NCVS: "National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)—-A second perspective on crime is provided by this survey of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Details about the crimes come directly from the victims. No attempt is made to validate the information against police records or any other source."

US Dept. of Census http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/07statab/law.pdf


Additional resources on crime statistics:

A Directory: General Statistics - The gateway to statistics from over 100 US federal agencies.


Statistical Abstract of the United States from the US Census Bureau- click on section 5 (Law Enforcement)

"The major sources of these data are the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts."


Statistics of how much health care for rape victims costs


Statistics on rape and domestic violence from the UK


Statistics on intimate crime from the Bureau of Justice


Find statistics on rape at the Bureau of Justice web site- Reporting to Police and Medical Attention


DOJ Research and Statistical Publications


National Criminal Justice Reference Service statistics on rape and sexual assault


Sexual victimization of college women



Educational resources from Universities


Find statistics on various types of crime in the US


The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics


Statistics on crime internationally


Statistics on domestic violence


Further Statistics




Statistics from non-profits and private organizations

Statute of limitations by state from RAINN


How many people were raped each year in the US?


Search crime statistics by University



Databases you can access from a library

Statistical Universe
"Contains statistical data produced by the U.S. government; important international intergovernmental organizations; professional and trade organizations, business organizations, commercial publishers, independent research organizations, state government agencies, and universities." (Lexis-Nexis)

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
"Summaries of more than 150,000 publications on criminal justice, including government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research". (CSA)


Government Links

US Department of Justice office on violence against women.

This site has great information on laws concerning sexual assault, support programs, articles and related links.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.

Find documents on Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims at the website for the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website. Among them: Looking Back -- Moving Forward: A Guidebook for Communities Responding to Sexual Assault analyzes the progress of the past two decades in the response to sexual assault cases by law enforcement agents, prosecutors and emergency medical care providers. Looking Back also speaks to the development of rape crisis centers and other victim services that concentrate on meeting the needs of the victim.

Further research:

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data


The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) preserves and distributes computerized crime and justice data from Federal agencies, state agencies, and investigator initiated research projects to users for secondary statistical analysis. Search terms: victimization, National Crime Victimization Survey. This site has some very interesting information and articles.

This site includes the following:

Adjusting the National Crime Victimization Survey's Estimates of Rape and Domestic Violence for 'Gag' Factors,

1986-1990. Coker, Ann L., and Elizabeth A. Stasny.


The researchers considered whether the type of interview (personal or telephone) and the presence of another person (particularly a spouse) influenced or "gagged" the reporting of rape and domestic violence in the NCVS. It is hypothesized that the inclusion of such yes/no questions would more easily allow victims to report rape or domestic violence incidents in telephone interviews, even with spouses present in the home during the interview.

also includes:Cost of Mental Health Care for Victims of Crime in the United States, Criminal Justice Response to Victim Harm in the United States, National Crime Victimization Survey, 1992-2003 (search for latest version)

The CIA World Fact Book


The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries, territories, and dependencies including subjects such as HIV rates, suffrage, legal systems, diplomacy, religions and transnational/international disputes (such as the civil war in Sudan where rape is being used as a tool of war). Information includes how to interpret numbers

( http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/docs/notesanddefs.html )

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control


Sexual Assault injuries (nonfatal) in the US per 100,000 people totaled 73,834 for 2003. Of these 67,085 were women and 6,749 were men. 10,259 for every 100,000 women died as a result of violence in the US in 2002 while 39,418 males died as a result of general violence in 2002.

This database allows you to find the number of injuries or deaths per year by cause or intent. It also allows you to limit the criteria in a variety of ways for each search.

Leading cause of injury to women in 2003 by age group (includes sexual assault)


Of the 93,000 forcible rapes reported in 2004 only 33% of victims reported their assault to police.

  • Of those who did report 79,000 rapes occurred in metropolitan areas, 8,000 in other cities and 7,000 in rural areas.
  • Of the 93,000 forcible rapes 8,007 were attempted rape and the rest completed. FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports
  • More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12. For men, 75% of all rapes occur before age 18, and 48% occur before age 12 (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000). CDC
  • Women who are raped before the age of 18 are twice as likely to be raped as adults, compared to those without a history of sexual abuse (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000). CDC
  • In 2004 in the US, there were 209,880 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assaults. From the National Crime Victimization Survey.
  • 84% of women did not report their rapes to police. From The National Women’s Study (Kilpatrick, Edmunds, and Seymour, 1992).
  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, rapes reported to police increased 0.8 percent in 2004. Since 2000, FBI totals show rapes reported to police up nearly 5%.
  • Ratio of victims by gender: (1.5 : .2)
    • female 1.5
    • male victims .2
  • More victims were found to be in lower income brackets than higher income. CDC
  • More than one half of the victims (55.6%) waited years before disclosing, with delays in reporting especially likely if the assault was perpetrated by a family member. (Monroe, 2005)




DiCanio, Margaret. (1993). The encyclopedia of violence : origins, attitudes, consequences. New York : Facts on File.

Fisher BS, Cullen FT & Turner MG (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Washington: Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice. Publication No. NCJ 182369.

Holmes M. (1999). Sexually transmitted infections in female rape victims. AIDS Patient Care and STDS, 13(12):703-8.

Holmes MM, Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG, Best CL. (1996). Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 175:320-4.

Monroe, Laura M.; Kinney, Linda M.; Weist, Mark D. (2005). The Experience of Sexual Assault: Findings From a Statewide Victim Needs Assessment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(7) pp. 767-776.

Tjaden P, Thoennes N. (2000). Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women: findings from the national violence against women survey. Washington: National Institute of Justice. Report NCJ 183781.


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