One in five women in the U.S. has been raped at some point in their lives, a survey found, and most victims experienced sexual violence before age 25.
The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on national survey data collected in 2011. The findings were similar to a survey a year earlier. More than 12,000 interviews of men and women were conducted in English and Spanish over a year.
More than 19 percent of women and almost 2 percent of men have been raped at one point in their lives, according to the 2011 data, an increase of about 1 percentage point from a year earlier. In addition, 44 percent of women and 23 percent of men said they have experienced other forms of sexual violence in their lives, including unwanted sexual contact and sexual coercion.
“That’s down from 20 years ago, but it’s still an overwhelming number,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of the Washington-based Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
The survey found that 79 percent of female rape victims and 71 percent of male victims were first assaulted before they were 25 years old.
Universities are failing to address cases sufficiently, said Berkowitz. More than 40 percent of 440 colleges surveyed hadn’t investigated a sexual assault in the past five years, according to a July report by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.