About Sexual Violence

What is sexual violence?


According to the World Health Organization, sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.

What is rape?


Rape is a form of violence in which sex is used as a weapon. Rape occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion or with someone who is incapable of consent.

Legal Definition of Rape:


(a) A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to change of rape.


(b) A person convicted of the offense of rape shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life, or by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. Any person convicted under this Code Section shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-7


Sexual Assault Facts:

  • Rape is an act of violence, power, and control.
  • Rape is often planned or carried out by intimate partners, acquaintances, family members, or strangers.
  • Rape is motivated primarily out of anger and/or a need to feel powerful by controlling, dominating, or humiliating the victim.
  • Survivors are not responsible for causing their assaults; only offenders are to be blamed for sexual assault and rape.
  • Rape is the fastest growing violent crime in The United States. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994)
  • In the United States, a woman is raped every 6 minutes. (Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the National Victims Center, 1992)
  • The rate of sexual assault in the United States is the highest of any industrialized nation in the world. (Reiso and Roth, 1993)
  • 1 in 4 women will be a victim of sexual violence at some point in her lifetime. (Warshaw, R. 1988. I Never Called It Rape. Harper and Row)
  • 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by age 18. (Walker, L. 1988. Handbook on Sexual Abuse of Children)
  • An estimated 92,700 men are forcibly raped each year in the United States. (Tjaden and Thoennes, 1998)
  • 84% of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. (Warsaw, R. 1988. I Never Called It Rape. Harper and Row)
  • 57% of all sexual assault occur during a date. (Koss, Wodruff, Koss study, 1990)
  • Rape remains the most underreported violent crime in the United States. (Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the National Victims Center, 1992)
  • Women who are raped by men they know are less likely to report the crime to the police than women who are raped by strangers. (Bachman, 1994)
  • 1 out of 3 high school relationships includes battering or rape. (Creighton, A., 1990. Helping Teens Stop Violence)