Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN, Director
Division of Violence Prevention
Howard R. Spivak, MD, Director
Link to Source Document
Sexual Violence by Any Perpetrator
• Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.
• More than half (51.1%) of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance; for male victims, more than half (52.4%) reported being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger.
• Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else during their lifetime; most men who were made to penetrate someone else reported that the perpetrator was either an intimate partner (44.8%) or an acquaintance (44.7%).
• An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e., unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way); and 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact.
• Most female victims of completed rape (79.6%) experienced their first rape before the age of 25; 42.2% experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
• More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.
Stalking Victimization by Any Perpetrator
• One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
• Two-thirds (66.2%) of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former intimate partner; men were primarily stalked by an intimate partner or an acquaintance, 41.4% and
• Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voice, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic for both female and male victims of stalking (78.8% for women and 75.9% for men).
• More than half of female victims and more than one-third of male victims of stalking indicated that they were stalked before the age of 25; about 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17.
Violence by an Intimate Partner
• More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
• Among victims of intimate partner violence, more than 1 in 3 women experienced multiple forms of rape, stalking, or physical violence; 92.1% of male victims experienced physical violence alone, and 6.3% experienced physical violence and stalking.
• Nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States (9.4%) has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime, and an estimated 16.9% of women and 8.0% of men have experienced sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
• About 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner (e.g., hit with a fist or something hard, beaten, slammed against something) at some point in their lifetime.
• An estimated 10.7% of women and 2.1% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
• Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).
• Most female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (69% of female victims; 53% of male victims) experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age.
Impact of Violence by an Intimate Partner
• Nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one impact related to experiencing these or other forms of violent behavior in the relationship (e.g., being fearful, concerned for safety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, need for health care, injury, contacting a crisis hotline, need for housing services, need for victim’s advocate services, need for legal services, missed at least one day of work or school).
Number and Sex of Perpetrators
• Across all types of violence, the majority of both female and male victims reported experiencing violence from one perpetrator.
• Across all types of violence, the majority of female victims reported that their perpetrators were male.
• Male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators. Nearly half of stalking victimizations against males were also perpetrated by males. Perpetrators of other forms of violence against males were mostly female.
Violence in the 12 Months Prior to Taking the Survey
• One percent, or approximately 1.3 million women, reported being raped by any perpetrator in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
• Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape by any perpetrator in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
• About 4% of women and 1.3% of men were stalked in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
• An estimated 1 in 17 women and 1 in 20 men (5.9% and 5.0%, respectively) experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.
• Men and women who experienced rape or stalking by any perpetrator or physical
violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime were more likely to report frequent headaches,
chronic pain, difficulty with sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health and poor mental health than men and women who did not experience these forms of violence. Women who had experienced these forms of violence were also more likely to report having asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and diabetes than women who did not experience these forms of violence.
• Across all types of violence examined in this report, state level estimates varied with lifetime estimates for women ranging from 11.4% to 29.2% for rape; 28.9% to 58% for sexual violence other than rape; and 25.3% to 49.1% for rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
• For men, lifetime estimates ranged from 10.8% to 33.7% for sexual violence other than rape;
and 17.4% to 41.2% for rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
Implications for Prevention
The findings in this report underscore the heavy toll that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence places on women, men, and children in the United States. Violence often begins at The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey | 2010 Summary Report | Executive Summary 3 an early age and commonly leads to negative health consequences across the lifespan. Collective action is needed to implement prevention approaches, ensure appropriate responses, and support these efforts based on strong data and research.
Prevention efforts should start early by promoting healthy, respectful relationships in families by fostering healthy parent-child relationships and developing positive family dynamics and emotionally supportive environments. These environments provide a strong foundation for children, help them to adopt positive interactions based on respect and trust, and foster effective and non-violent communication and conflict resolution in their peer and dating relationships. It is equally important to continue addressing the beliefs, attitudes and messages that are deeply embedded in our social structures and that create a climate that condones sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence. For example, this can be done through norms change, changing policies and enforcing existing policies against violence, and promoting bystander approaches to prevent violence before it happens.
In addition to prevention efforts, survivors of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence need coordinated services to ensure healing and prevent recurrence of victimization. The healthcare system’s response must be strengthened and better coordinated for both sexual violence and intimate partner violence survivors to help navigate the health care system and access needed services and resources in the short and long term.
One way to strengthen the response to survivors is through increased training of healthcare professionals. It is also critically important to ensure that legal, housing, mental health, and other services and resources are available and accessible to survivors. An important part of any response to sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence is to hold perpetrators accountable. Survivors may be reluctant to disclose their victimization for a variety of reasons including shame, embarrassment, fear of retribution from perpetrators, or a belief that they may not receive support from law enforcement. Laws may also not be enforced adequately or consistently and perpetrators may become more dangerous after their victims report these crimes. It is important to enhance training efforts within the criminal justice system to better engage and support survivors and thus hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
Implementing strong data systems for the monitoring and evaluation of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence is critical to understand trends in these problems, to provide information on which to base development and evaluation of prevention and intervention programs, and to monitor and measure the effectiveness of these efforts. Establishing cost-efficient and timely surveillance systems for all states, by using consistent definitions and uniform survey methods, will assist states by providing policymakers much needed information for enhancing prevention efforts at the state level.
Ongoing data collection and monitoring of these problems through NISVS and other data sources at the local, state, and national level must lead to further research to develop and evaluate strategies to effectively prevent first-time perpetration of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence. This research should focus on key gaps to address the social and economic conditions (e.g., poverty, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and social exclusion) that increase risk for perpetration and victimization. This work should be complemented with efforts to monitor strategies being used by the field, to identify and rigorously evaluate these approaches and document their value. As effective strategies are identified, research examining how to best disseminate, implement, and adapt evidence based prevention strategies, will become increasingly important. Much progress has been made in the prevention of violence. There is strong reason to believe that the application of effective strategies combined with the capacity to implement them will make a difference. The lessons already learned during public health’s short experience with violence prevention are consistent with those from public health’s much longer experience with the prevention of infectious and chronic diseases. Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence can be prevented with data-driven, collaborative action.