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CDC survey finds nearly 1 in 5 US women report sexual assault

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A startling new report on violence against women says nearly one in five women report being victims of rape.

A startling new report on violence against women says nearly one in five women report being victims of rape. (KABC Photo)

Nearly one in five American women report they have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape in their lifetime, according to a nationwide telephone survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, started in 2010 by the CDC with the support of the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Defense.

Defining intimate partner and sexual violence broadly, the study took a nationally representative sample of 16,507 American adults.

The survey elicited information on types of aggressive behavior not previously studied. It may be one reason the numbers are nearly seven times higher than statistics gathered last year by the FBI.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to the findings. Additionally, more than 1 million women are raped in a year and more than 6 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year.

Forty-two percent of women who reported an incident said it happened when they were 17 or younger.

The study also found that 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. Of those men, 28 percent were victims of rape when they were 10 years old or younger.

The Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center says three to four new victims, mostly children, seek treatment at its facility every day.

According to the director, Gail Abarbanel, many never report their attack to authorities.

"They feel ashamed, they feel they won't be believed, they worry how they'll be treated by authorities," Abarbanel said. "Most victims feel like the rapist takes something away that they can never get back."

If you or someone that you know needs help, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.

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sexual assault, scientific study, national news, miriam hernandez
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