- 44% of victims are under age 18
- 80% are under age 30
Sexual Assault Numbers
- Every 2 minutes, another American is sexually assaulted
- There is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year
Reporting to Police
- 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police
- 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail
- Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
- 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance
Sexual Assault Awareness materials from:
Sexual Assault and Alcohol
Pathways Through Which Alcohol Contributes to Sexual Assault
Theoretical explanations of sexual assault and of alcohol’s role in sexual assault consider both distal and proximal influences. Distal factors are influences that are temporally far removed from the assault; in contrast, proximal factors are influences that are temporally close to the assault. Distal predictors of sexual assault include personality characteristics, attitudes, and general life experiences of both the perpetrator and the victim. When examining alcohol as a distal factor, researchers focus on the relationship between the perpetrator’s and the victim’s long-term alcohol consumption patterns (e.g., regular heavy drinking) and sexual assault history as well as on beliefs about alcohol’s effects (i.e., expectancies) that may encourage alcohol-involved sexual assault.
Proximal models of sexual assault focus on characteristics of the specific situations in which sexual assault occurs, such as whether alcohol consumption occurs, whether the setting is in an isolated area, and what the relationship is between the perpetrator and the victim. This section discusses both of these approaches (also see table).
|Distal Factors||General, heavy alcohol consumption||General, heavy alcohol consumption|
|Alcohol expectancies about sex, aggression, and disinhibition||Childhood sexual abuse|
|Stereotypes about drinking women being sexually available and appropriate targets|
|Situational Factors||Heavy drinkers spend time in bars and at parties||Heavy drinkers spend time in bars and at parties|
|Drinking is used as an excuse for socially unacceptable behavior||Alcohol’s cognitive impairments reduce ability to evaluate risk|
|Alcohol’s cognitive impairments enhance misperception of the woman’s friendly cues as sexual||Alcohol’s motor impairments reduce ability to resist effectively|
|Alcohol’s cognitive impairments facilitate an aggressive response if the man feels he has been “led on”|
*Perpetrators are not always men!
Sexual Assault Awareness and Alcohol Disposition materials from: