Have you ever wondered how much more often the women in your life have deal with violence and sexual harassment than men? If you haven’t, then you might find the statistics somewhat disconcerting. One in three women will experience physical violence and/or rape during their lifetime — from a romantic partner. That’s to say nothing of the violence perpetrated against women by strangers. This compares to about 10 percent of men who experience the same.
There are other forms of assault at play, too. For example, almost half of women and men believe they were victims of “psychological” aggression, manipulation, or coercion. Have you ever known a woman who was battered or abused by her spouse or partner, but she refused to leave him? This is where psychology fits into the equation.
Men don’t experience rape as often as women, but those who do report similar psychological long-term effects and over half of male victims of rape were raped by an acquaintance. Only 15 percent were raped by a stranger.
Women who were raped when they were in their teens are also more likely to be raped as adults, compared to women who were not raped during adolescence. Researchers do not understand all the factors that contribute to this statistic, but speculate that some women who are more prone to sexual assault because of fear.
College students who report rape are far more likely to report that it happened at school — and women are far more likely to be raped on campus than men.
Although women are far more likely to become the victims of sexual assault — it can and does occur to anyone. But few people talk about it. Most victims of violence make no attempt to press charges against the perpetrator, in part because our society continues to promote the idea that the victim is somehow to blame.