Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States according to the Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN). Every two minutes! Let’s take a step back and consider together what this means. In the time it takes you to read this post, at least 1 person will have been the victim of a sexual assault. While drinking my cup of coffee this morning, approximately 10 people were victims of a sexual assault. Mathematically, this works out to an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) each year. Yet, at least 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Let’s look at the victims themselves. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, revealed that 1 in 5 women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape. This statistic is even higher for women in college. The problem of campus sexual assault has been gaining increasing national attention and a recent series by Al Jazeera America sought a greater understanding of sexual assault and its key factors on college campuses. Drawing from existing data, the series offers detailed statistics on campus sexual assault. But as you consider these statistics, please remember that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s report on The Sexual Victimization of College Women, every year about 1 in 20 college women will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape.  This means that during the course of a five-year college career, as many as 1 in 4 women can become the victim of rape. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, about 1 in 3 gay men, 1 in 5 bisexual men, and 1 in 10 heterosexual men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact during their lifetime. These statistics reveal that sexual violence has likely impacted someone in your life, in some way. The next time you arrive at class, look around. In a class with 40 female students, at least 2 will likely be the victims of rape during the course of their college career. We need to open our eyes to the fact that any time we go out in public, it is likely that we will encounter someone who has been impacted by sexual violence. This awareness should be affecting how we engage with people, especially those who we know have been victims. The purpose of this blog series is to raise awareness about sexual violence and to consider what we can do as individuals and a community to both prevent sexual violence and support those who have been impacted. Today’s post focuses on the phrase “every two minutes” as an occasion for us to reflect on how sexual violence surrounds us in our relations with others whether we want to acknowledge it or not.

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