Sexual violence refers to sexual acts that are forced against someone’s will. These acts can be physical, verbal, or emotional. There are many types of sexual violence but all types involve victims who do not consent or are unable to consent.
Sexual violence is a significant problem in the United States.
One in six women and one in 33 men report experiencing an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Statistics underestimate the problem of sexual violence. Many victims are afraid to report abuse or are too ashamed or embarrassed to tell their families or friends.
In addition to physical injuries, sexual violence can have an emotional impact. Victims may be fearful or anxious. The stress they experience may lead to depression or other mental health problems. Victims may also engage in risky health behaviors.
Preventing sexual violence is possible. Prevention efforts should focus on first-time perpetration and address all levels that influence sexual violence – the individual, relationship, community, and society.
(Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC)