This April marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, a month dedicated to educating the public about the persistence and prevalence of sexual assault, to supporting survivors, and to pushing for prevention. Our attorneys at KMD Law have devoted our careers to fighting for survivors, and we are proud to observe Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month 2021.
Sexual Assault Statistics
According to RAINN, 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of either an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime; for American men, the ratio is about 1 out of every 33. Sadly, a majority of survivors are under the age of 30, with women of college age being victimized at higher rates than women of other age groups. The transgender community, in particular, has a high rate of survivors, with 21% of transgender college students being survivors compared to 18% of cisgender women and 4% of cisgender men.
In addition, the rate of sexual violence is terribly high in the armed forces, as about 18,900 military service members experience unwanted sexual contact each year, per RAINN. What’s worse, these numbers (like all sex crime statistics for all demographics) are believed to be largely underreported, as many survivors choose to stay silent out of feelings of shame, fear, and uncertainty over what happened.
Overall, RAINN estimates that a sexual assault happens every 73 seconds in the United States. One of the first steps we can take toward prevention is to not only believe survivors but to also debunk common myths about sexual violence, assault, and abuse.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Sexual Assault
Five common myths and misconceptions about sexual violence, assault, and abuse include the following:
MYTH #1: Survivors are partially to blame for their assault.
FACT: Survivors are not at fault for being sexually assaulted, no matter what they were wearing, whether they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or the like.
MYTH #2: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
FACT: One in every 10 survivors in the U.S. are men. It has nothing to do with whether you are a man, woman, or nonbinary.
MYTH #3: Most rapes are committed by strangers.
FACT: Per RAINN’s statistics, 8 out of 10 cases of sexual violence are committed by people who knew the victim — most commonly, an acquaintance or current or former romantic/intimate partner is reported as being the perpetrator.
MYTH #4: Most survivors who come forward are lying or “crying rape.”
FACT: According to studies and crime data, only a small margin, somewhere between 2% and 10%, of sexual assault allegations are false.
MYTH #5: A “no” can sometimes mean “yes.”
FACT: Only yes means yes when it comes to giving consent for sexual acts. No never means yes.
Helping Survivors Seek Justice
At KMD Law, our Los Angeles attorneys understand the great strength it takes to come forward with your story, especially when the perpetrator is a Hollywood executive, a church official, a coworker, or someone else you know. We are here to make speaking out and holding perpetrators accountable easier for survivors, as we provide caring counsel and guidance at every step of the way. Our fearless advocacy efforts have resulted in judgments and settlements worth millions of dollars for our clients.
You aren’t alone. When you are ready, contact KMD Law online or call us at (833) 456-3529 to book a confidential consultation with a compassionate lawyer.