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2023 Sexual Assault Statistics

8 min.

Sexual assault is an ever-growing problem for teens and young adults. At Charlie Health, we believe education is prevention. Learn the facts below.

By: Charlie Health Editorial Team

Clinically Reviewed By: Don Gasparini Ph.D., M.A., CASAC

April 1, 2023


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Table of Contents

Sexual assault is alarmingly prevalent worldwide, including in the U.S., and children, teens, and young adults are not exempt from becoming victims. Sexual assault includes any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without clear consent, such as rape, attempted rape, a force of sexual acts performed by the victim, and unwanted sexual touching.

While reading statistics about sexual assault can feel overwhelming, knowledge truly is power in destigmatizing victims who have experienced any kind of sexual abuse or rape.  

Sexual assault stats highlights

  • 50% of women and 30% of men have experienced sexual violence.
  • The highest risk years for sexual violence are between ages 12 and 34.
  • Most sexual assault victims personally know their attackers.
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts are significantly higher among rape victims.
  • Membership in college fraternities and sororities significantly increases the chance of being involved in a sexual assault.

General sexual assault statistics

Pie charts showing 50% of women and 30% of men experienced sexual violence

What are the statistics of sexual assault?

Sexual assault is, unfortunately, a common occurrence among both women and men. Over 50% of women and about 30% of men have experienced physical or sexual violence. 

Full or attempted rape has been experienced by 25% of women and 1 in 26 men. On top of that, 1 out of 9 men is forced to penetrate another person at some point in their lives. 

How many cases of sexual assault occur each year?

The average number of rape and sexual assault victims is 463,634 annually in the US. This accounts for people 12 years and older. 

Who has the highest risk of sexual assault?

Young women are in the highest risk category for sexual violence. The highest risk years are between the ages of 12-34. Girls aged 16-19 are four times more likely than any other demographic to be rape or sexual assault victims.

What states have the highest rates of sexual assault?

California, Texas, and Florida have the highest rates of reported rape incidents (18,100; 16,500; and 10,900, respectively). Vermont, Wyoming, and Delaware have the fewest reported rape cases nationwide.

At what age is sexual assault most common?

The highest risk years are between the ages of 12-34. People who are 65 years or older are 92% less likely to experience sexual assault compared to 12 to 24-year-olds. People 65 or older are also 83% less likely than 25-49-year-olds.

What percentage of sexual assaults are prosecuted?

Unfortunately, the prosecution rate for rape is low. The issue starts with a lack of reporting attacks to the police. It’s estimated that only 39% of rapes are actually reported. Of those, just over 16% result in a conviction. Out of all rape incidents (including those not reported), only 6% of rapists serve any jail time.

What is the rate of sexual assault by ethnicity?

Among women in the U.S., 22% of African American women and 18% of white women are likely to be raped in their lifetime. Prevalence is slightly lower in Hispanic women, just under 15%.  

What percentage of abuse victims become abusers?

Sadly, abuse is often a cyclical pattern. Approximately one-third of people who experience childhood abuse become abusive toward others later in life. 

What percentage of sexual assault victims know their perpetrator?

Sexual assault by a stranger is relatively uncommon. 80% of rape victims know their assailant. Of that number, about 33% of rapes are committed by a former partner (such as an ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend). 

What are the most common forms of sexual assault in the USA?

There are two common forms of rape in the U.S. The first is called acquaintance rape, which is when the victim knows their assailant. Stranger rape is when the victim doesn’t know their attacker. 

Where does abuse happen the most?

Sexual abuse most commonly occurs within the victim’s close social circles. For adolescents and young adults, this often means the assailant is a relative, close friend, teacher, coach, or even an immediate family member.

Sexual assault mental health statistics

Pie charts showing 80% of people developed a mental health disorder after being sexually assaulted and 55% developed two or more mental health disorders

What percent of sexual assault victims have mental health issues?

Developing a mental health disorder after experiencing sexual assault is common. For instance, a study among teenage girls revealed that 80% developed a mental health disorder within months after being sexually assaulted, and 55% developed two or more mental health disorders.

Which mental health issues have a strong correlation with sexual abuse?

Research shows that there are four common mental health disorders among children who are sexually abused: conversion disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and depression.

What percentage of sexual assault survivors have PTSD?

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common after experiencing sexual assault. One study estimates that a third of rape victims develop PTSD at some point throughout their lives. Approximately 10% of rape victims are currently experiencing PTSD today.

How much more likely are sexual assault victims to have a major depressive episode?

It’s estimated that 30% of female rape victims experience at least one major depressive episode in life, compared to just 10% of women who haven’t been raped. This can be a huge disruptor to daily functioning.

Are sexual assault victims more likely to contemplate suicide?

Rape victims experience much higher rates of suicidal ideation and actual suicide attempts. For instance, 33% of rape victims have considered suicide, compared to just 8% of those who haven’t been raped. Rape victims are also 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than individuals who have not experienced any violent crime.

Sexual assault in sports statistics

Bar chat showing number of disciplinary actions by sport affiliation


What sport has the most sexual assault cases?

Sexual offenses in children’s sports are most common among hockey and soccer coaches. 

How prevalent is sexual assault in sports?

Estimates report that anywhere from 2% to 8% of child athletes experience sexual abuse. Of all child sexual abuse cases, 90% of the victims know their abuser.

How many college athletes are accused of sexual assault?

In college sports, athletes are three times more likely to be accused of sexual misconduct or domestic violence compared to other students at the same schools.

What percentage of college athletes have experienced sexual assault?

College athletes are at higher risk of sexual assault. In one study among current and former athletes, over 25% of respondents reported inappropriate sexual contact from an authority figure, such as a coach or other campus leader. 

Sexual assault statistics in the LGBTQIA+ community

Bar chart showing sexual assault stats in the LGBTQIA community

How much more likely are LGBTQIA+ community members to experience sexual assault?

Violent crime against members of the LGBTQIA+ community is prevalent. This demographic is four times more susceptible to violent victimization than non-LGBTQIA+ individuals. And unlike other sexual assault crimes, this community is equally likely to be victimized by strangers as they are by people they know.

What percentage of gay men have experienced sexual assault?

Sexual violence against gay men is higher than non-hetrosexual men. Compared to only 21% of heterosexual males, 40% of gay men report experiencing sexual assault besides rape.

What percentage of bisexual men have experienced sexual assault?

Bisexual men experience higher rates of non-rape sexual assault than gay and straight men. Nearly half (47%) of bisexual men report sexual assault, compared to 40% and 21% of gay and straight men.

What percentage of lesbian women have experienced sexual assault?

Sexual assault (which includes rape, physical violence, and stalking) is experienced by 44% of lesbians, compared to just 35% of straight women.

What percentage of bisexual women have experienced sexual assault?

Bisexual women are even more prone to sexual assault. 61% experience some type of sexual assault, compared to 44% of lesbians and 35% of straight women. When looking at rape alone, 46% of bisexual women have experienced this type of assault, whereas only 13% of lesbians and 17% of non-heterosexual women have been raped. 

What percentage of transgender people have experienced sexual assault?

Almost half (47%) of transgender individuals experience some type of sexual assault during their lifetime. Transgender people of color are even more likely to be sexually assaulted, with American Indians experiencing the highest assault rate of 65%.

College sexual assault statistics

Pie chart showing 26% of female undergraduate students and almost 7% of male undergraduate students report experiencing sexual assault

What percent of college students experience sexual assault?

College campuses are particularly prone to sexual misconduct and assault. 26% of female undergraduate students and almost 7% of male undergraduate students report experiencing sexual assault.

On top of that, two-thirds of undergraduates report experiencing sexual harassment while at school.

What percentage of men experience sexual assault in college?

One study reports that approximately 6% of men experience sexual assault while enrolled in college, although another report puts that number closer to 7%. 

What percentage of women experience sexual assault in college?

Women have a significantly higher rate of sexual assault cases in college. Studies report this number to be anywhere from 19% to 26%. Female students’ highest risk time frame is the first four semesters of enrollment, known as the “red zone.”

What percentage of college students report sexual assault to the police?

The number of victims who report sexual assault incidents at college is, unfortunately, low. Only 12% of students will file a report to the police. And only 7% of incapacitated rape victims go to the police. 

Reasons for this silence include shame, fear of retaliation, and confusion over what is actually considered assault. 

What percentage of college students experience PTSD from sexual assault?

College students are more likely to experience PTSD compared to non-victims. Of survivors, 34% go through PTSD, whereas only 9% of non-victims experience the same. Depression is also higher among college sexual assault victims, which reaches 33% compared to just 11% of non-victims.

How much more likely are men in fraternities to commit sexual assault?

Men who join fraternities are three times more likely to commit rape against a woman compared to their non-member counterparts at colleges. Fraternity members also perpetuate the majority of campus gang rapes.

How much more likely are women in sororities to experience sexual assault?

Women who join sororities have a significantly higher chance of being raped — they are as much as 74% more likely to become rape victims than women who do not join sororities. 


Sexual assault is sadly not an uncommon occurrence in the world. But that also means if you have been the recipient of any type of unwanted sexual behavior, you are not alone — and there are plenty of resources to help. 

For immediate, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HELP)

Once connected, you’ll talk to a trained staff member who can help you understand what has happened, help you find a local health facility that specifically works with sexual assault victims, and much more.

Charlie Health also helps teens and young adults with mental health disorders of all kinds, including those developing after any kind of sexual abuse or assault. 

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