Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States gets raped and almost half experience some sort of sexual violence in their lifetimes, according to a newly published study by the US government.
The results from a 2011 survey by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which were released Friday, indicate that an estimated 19.3 percent of women have been raped and 43.9 percent have suffered sexual violence at one point in their lives.
Additionally, 1.7 percent of men in the US have been raped and 23 percent have experienced some other form of sexual violence, the CDC study found.
Sexual violence other than rape includes sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, stalking and other non-contact and unwanted sexual experiences.
“A substantial proportion of US female and male adults have experienced some form of sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence at least once during their lifetimes,” the CDC report notes.
“Consistent with previous studies, the overall pattern of results suggest that women, in particular, are heavily impacted over their lifetime. However, the results also indicate that many men experience sexual violence, stalking, and, in particular, physical violence by an intimate partner.”
The study said victims often know their perpetrators, whether they are partners or an acquaintance. Almost half of female and male rape victims have had at least one intimate partner rape them.
CDC researchers note, however, that because sexual assault incidents are badly underreported and poorly counted, it is very likely that their results actually underestimated the prevalence of sexual violence in American society.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking in the United States, based on a CDC survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that amounts to more than 12 million women and men.
Many critics blame the so-called “rape culture” in America that manifests itself in everything from pop songs to mass shootings to celebrity photo hacks, which fosters a mindset that encourages sexual violence