Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Sexual Violence

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is the act of making someone partake involuntarily in sexual acts through violence, force, threat of injury, other duress, or where the victim is unable to decline due to the effects of drugs or alcohol ( Rape is the most severe form of sexual assault. It affects millions each year in the U.S. and is one of the most unreported crimes with only 39% of rape and sexual assault cases being reported each year. One in six women (17%) and one in thirty-three men (3%) reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives. Among adults who report being raped, women experienced 2.9 rapes and men experienced 1.2 rapes in the previous year.

Most perpetrators of sexual violence are men. Among acts of SV committed against women since the age of 18, 100% of rapes, 92% of physical assaults, and 97% of stalking acts were perpetrated by men. SV against men is also mainly male violence: 70% of rapes, 86% of physical assaults, and 65% of stalking acts were perpetrated by men.


The effects of rape are physical, psychological, and social. Women are at increased risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) after being raped. Long term physiological consequences include post-traumatic stress disorder and rape trauma syndrome among many others. Feelings of shame and guilt are common. This may lead to victims isolating themselves from friends and family and creating strain in relationships with intimate partners. Victims of rape have a lower likelihood of marriage which is most likely associated with inability to fully trust another partner and feel intimate with him or her.

Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Associated pages

Additional Resources
Prevention Strategies
Risk Factors
*Groups at Risk