US: eye-opening rape and violence stats

US: eye-opening rape and violence stats

I have recently been reading the California Coalition Agaianst Sexual Assault (Calcasa) Trends report 2008, which is a bit of a mouthful, and as may be expected there are a lot of US stats, but they make very interesting reading. The report is huge, but well worth reading. Here are some samples:

Violence against LGBTI people

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs produced
its 2004 report on the trends regarding anti-LGBT
violence reported to their network of over 20 antiviolence
organizations nationwide. These organizations monitor and
respond to incidents of bias, domestic, HIV-related and
other forms of violence affecting the LGBT community in
their areas. Their findings indicated the following trend
from 2002 to 2003:
• The total number of bias-related incidents reported an
increase of 8% between 2002 and 2003.
• Notable changes in reported incidences around the country
during this period include: Houston (+150%),
Colorado (+62%), Cleveland, OH -5%), Los Angeles
(+6%), Columbus, OH (-4%) and San Francisco (-11%).
• The number of sexual assault/rape reports decreased
from 37% to 20% from the previous year.
• There was an overall decline in the number of cases
reported to law enforcement (-2%) and in the number
of cases refused by law enforcement (-12%) in 2003.
A national representative sample of 760 kids (aged 12-17)
was asked about their experience with and opinions about
anti-gay teasing and bullying in their schools and neighborhoods.
Results showed:
• More than three-quarters of teens (78%) reported that
kids who are gay or thought to be gay are teased or
bullied in their schools and communities.
• 93% hear other kids at school or in their neighborhood
use anti-gay epithets at least “once in a while”, 51%
reported hearing them every day.
• 4% reported participating in the teasing and bullying
because they “think it’s funny,” “didn’t think much
about it,” or “were only playing around.”
• 78% reacted unfavorably towards expressions of antigay
bias, 5% said they try to stick up for the kids who
are targets. Only 3% said they found the teasing and
bullying funny, 11% said they ignored it or didn’t care.
Citing previous Hate Crime research, it is estimated that
only 13-14% of anti-gay violence is reported to the police
each year in a longitudinal study. Victims often believed
that discussion of their sexuality would subject them to
further victimization and were reluctant to disclose it.
Earlier studies indicated that between 16-30% of LGBT victims
had been victimized by the police.

Rates of sexual abuse and assault of gay men may be
higher than those found in studies of men generally (i.e.
without reference to sexual orientation). One study indicated that 37% of the men reported having a sexual encounter with an older or stronger partner (usually a
man) before the age of 17. 51% of those encounters involved the use of force and more than 93% met the definition of sexual abuse or assault.

More than half of the respondents to a lesbian health survey
had experienced a verbal hate crime. One in 20 reported
having been physically assaulted. Other research
showed three-fourths of the lesbians surveyed experienced
at least one verbal hate crime and 1 in 10 reported a history
of hate-motivated physical assault.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs produced
its 2003 report on the trends regarding anti-LGBT
violence reported to their network of 26 antiviolence
organizations nationwide. These organizations monitor and
respond to incidents of bias, domestic, HIV-related and
other forms of violence affecting the LGBT community in
their areas. Their findings indicated the following trendsfrom
2001 to 2002:
• The total number of bias-related incidents reported a
slight increase of 1% between 2000 and 2001. This
contrasts with a decrease in reported incidences from
2000 to 2001.
• Most reporting locations showed a small to significant
increase in reported incidences. The largest increases
reported around the country during this period came
from organizations in: Houston (+150%), Colorado
(+62%), Cleveland, OH (+44%), Los Angeles
(+20%), Columbus, OH (+17%) and San Francisco
• The number of sexual assault/rape reports increased
37% from the previous year.
• Almost 20% of the reports were refused by law
enforcement in 2002.

According to a study conducted in Massachusetts, young
lesbians and bisexual girls experienced more sexual
harassment than heterosexual girls. 72% of lesbian and
bisexual girls reported that they were “called sexually
offensive names” by their peers, compared with 63% of
heterosexual girls. Lesbians and bisexual girls were significantly
more likely than heterosexual girls to be “touched,
brushed up against, or cornered in a sexual way (63% as
compared to 52% of heterosexual girls) and to be grabbed
or have their clothing pulled in a sexual way (50% compared
to 44%). 23% of young lesbian and bisexual girls
reported that their peers had “attempted to hurt them in a
sexual way (attempted rape or rape),” while 6% of the heterosexual
girls surveyed had experienced sexual violence of
this nature.”

In a sample of 412 university students, 16.9% of the subjects
reported that they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual; the
remainder identified themselves as heterosexual. Of the
lesbian, gay, and bisexual subjects 42.4% (30.6% female
and 11.8% male) and 21.4% of the heterosexuals (17.8%
female and 3.6% male) indicated they had been forced to
have sex against their will.

A 1991 study of university students reported that of their
sample of gay/bisexual students (including both gay men
and lesbians) approximately 18% had been victims of rape,
approximately 12% had been victims of attempted rape, and
approximately 37% had been victims of sexual coercion.321
There were 2,552 reported anti-gay incidents in 1998, of
which 88 were sexual assault/rapes.

The increase in rapes and sexual assaults rose 13%
nationally in 1995-1996 against lesbians and gays,
approximately twice the 6% rate for all violent crimes.
According to the First National Survey of Transgender
Violence, 13.7% of 402 persons reported being a victim of
rape or attempted rape.

Same sex domestic violence

70% of lesbians responding to a survey regarding samesex
sexual violence indicated that as a group they had
experienced 91 instances of sexual violence within the context
of a relationship. More than half of the women in the
study indicated that they had experienced more than one
abusive relationship in their lifetime.

In a study of 162 gay men and 111 lesbians, 52% reported
at least one incident of sexual coercion by same-sex partners. Gay men experienced 1.6 incidents per person; while lesbians experienced 1.2 incidents per person.

Men living with male intimate partners experience more
intimate partner violence than do men living with female
intimate partners. 15% of men who lived with a man as a
couple reported being raped/assaulted or stalked by a male

Sexual assault

According to data from the National Crime Victimization
Survey, 15,130 men age 12 and older reported being raped
or sexually assaulted.

Victim and assault characteristics of men (64 who had
been sexually assaulted by a stranger, and 81 who had
been sexually assaulted by an acquaintance) presenting to
a sexual assault care center were measured and compared
to those of the 106 women who presented during that
same period:
• Male victims in this sample were more likely to be
young, single men who reported high rates of vulnerability
such as homelessness and physical, psychiatric and
cognitive disabilities when compared to the characteristics
of the women who presented to the care center.
• Male stranger rape victims were more likely to have
had their assaults involve weapons and physical violence
when compared to the characteristics of the
assaults of women who presented to the care center.
In a study of British college students, 14% of males (compared
with 24% of females) had experienced forced sexual
contact or intercourse at least once in their lives. Male
victims were found to experience high levels of self-blame,
depression and other negative attributions after sexual

Results of an experimental study indicated that male victims
are often assessed more blame for their assaults than
female victims.

When presented with vignettes depicting male-on-male
sexual assault, college students in a recent study routinely
attributed more pleasure and less trauma when the victim
was homosexual. Male study participants attributed more
responsibility and pleasure to a male victim than did
female participants.

A review of prior research studies found that only 56% of
male child sexual assault victims were referred to mental
health treatment. However, when abused boys were offered
post-abuse counseling. 73-77% attended at least one session.
Other studies consistently showed that police involvement
was infrequent in male child sexual abuse cases (13%
of the cases), low post-disclosure medical examinations (20-
58% of the cases), and that cases involving males were
prosecuted less often than female sexual abuse cases.
According to data collected from the National Incident-Based
Reporting System, juvenile males (under the age of 18) represented
a higher percentage of victims (18%) in reported
incidences of sexual assault than adult males (4%). Males
represented 15% of the juvenile victims of sexual assault
with an object, 20% of juvenile victims of forcible fondling
and 59% of juvenile victims of forcible sodomy. The percentages
increase for male victims under the age of 12.

In a study of male survivors sexually abused as children,
over 80% had a history of substance abuse; 50% had suicidal
thoughts; 23% had attempted suicide; and almost 70%
had received psychological treatment.

An estimated 92,700 men are forcibly raped each year in the
United States.

While 9 out of 10 rape victims are women, men and boys
are also victimized by this crime. In 1995, 32,130 males age
12 and older were victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual

Men in a sample for a recent study indicated that 35% had
experienced non-consensual sex in which either as an adult
or a child, someone had coerced or forced them into having
sex against their will. 49% reported that more than one different
perpetrator forced or coerced them into having sex in
their lifetime and 64% of the men reported having had force
or coercion used in more than one occasion in their lifetime.
Only 39% of the men in the study reporting victimization
had ever received any counseling to help them deal with the
sexual abuse.

Domestic violence

Violence against women is primarily partner violence.
76% of the women who were raped and/or physically
assaulted since age 18 were assaulted by a current or
former husband, cohabiting partner, or date, compared
with 18% of the men. 17% of the women surveyed
were raped and/or physically assaulted by an
acquaintance, such as a friend, neighbor, or coworker;
14% were victimized by a stranger, and 9% were
victimized by a relative other than a husband. Total
percentages exceed 100 because some victims had
multiple perpetrators.
30% of the adult sexual assault cases (after 16 years of
age) reported in the Women’s Safety Project Survey were
perpetrated by men who were in intimate relationships
with the women they assaulted. These men were husbands,
common-law partners, or boyfriends. An additional
28% of the cases were perpetrated by men who were
dates and/or acquaintances of the women they sexually
assaulted. When other known assailants (co-workers,
authority figures) are included, a total of 83.3% of the
sexual assault cases were perpetrated by men known to
the women they assaulted.

Women living with female intimate partners experience
less intimate partner violence (11%) than women living
with male intimate partners (30.4%).

A recent study found that the number of forced sexual
experiences a woman has correlates significantly with
depression. Women who experienced more sexual assaults
reported increased levels of depression, as well as presenting
with significantly more gynecological problems than
women who were not sexually abused.

Over half of the women in a recent survey on
separation/divorce sexual assault indicated that they had
been assaulted by their partners when they wanted to
leave, 32% indicated they had been assaulted during the
process of leaving and 37% had been assaulted by their
partner after they had left the relationship.

Prison Rape

Epidemiology reports estimate that the number of victims
of sexual violence occurring in prisons and other places of
incarceration or detention over the past 20 years likely
exceeds one million, and is being committed against male
and female inmates, and by other inmates or correctional
staff. Consequences of prison sexual assault, according to
meta-analyses are that victims have a high risk of suicide,
contracting HIV and other communicable sexual diseases
and experience lifelong psychological and emotional trauma.

A recent study on sexual assault of female inmates in three
Midwestern prisons indicated that, sexual coercion rates in
2 of the 3 women’s prisons ranged between 8%-9%. In the
third facility (in which the population was considered
rougher than the other two because it housed more serious
offenders) the sexual coercion rate was 19%. Female
inmates committed nearly half of the incidents of sexual
coercion. Incidents ranged from casual sexual grabs to
injurious gang rapes. When staff perpetrated the assault,
both male & female staff used their authority to bribe,
blackmail and force inmates into sexual contact. Most victims
were likely to not report the incident and the most
cited reasons were: fear of retaliation (especially if staff
members were the perpetrator) or fear that they would not
be believed.

Human Rights Watch conducted a study of male inmate on
inmate sexual assault occurring in U.S. prisons. Their
study participants were representative of prisons in 37
states. A summary of their findings included characteristics
of victims and offenders. Researchers caution that these
findings represent only general characteristics and patterns
found through their interviews and research and emphasize
that any prisoner can become a victim of sexual

• Factors increasing a prisoner’s vulnerability to rape
include: youth, small size and physical weakness,
being Caucasian, being gay, being a first offender,
possessing feminine characteristics (identified as long
hair or high voice), being shy, unassertive and/or
unaggressive, being convicted of a sexual offense of a
minor. Prisoners having any one of these characteristics
typically faced increased risk of sexual abuse.
Prisoners having several overlapping characteristics
were much more likely than other inmates to be the
target of sexual abuse.
• Prison rapists typically had the following characteristics:
young – under the age of 35 years of age, and
typically are at least as young as their victims.
Perpetrators tend to be strong, assertive and physically
aggressive, more at home in the prison environment
than their victims, “street smart”, and often gang members.
They typically have been convicted of more violent
crimes than their victims.
• Although gay prisoners had a high vulnerability to sexual
abuse while incarcerated, their research indicated
that gay inmates were not likely to be perpetrators.
Human Rights Watch conducted a three year survey of
state departments of corrections and the Federal Bureau of
Prisons and found that of the 47 departments responding
only 23 were able to provide statistics on the number of
incidences of reported male inmate on inmate sexual
abuse. Research indicated that other respondents reported
that such abuse was so infrequent as to not warrant a separate
statistical category relating to inmate violence.
Contrasted with this finding were data from an internal
survey of guards from a southern prison who indicated
that an estimated 20% of their inmates were being coerced
into inmate-on-inmate sex. Inmates surveyed estimated
that 33% of inmates were victimized while higher ranking
officials tended to estimate the victimization rate at

The U.S. Justice Department reports that since 1992 more
than 60 people who worked with female inmates in
Arizona have been dismissed, have resigned or have been
disciplined as a result of sexual misconduct.
Lesbian and Transgendered prisoners are targeted for
sexual abuse not only because of their gender, but also
their sexual orientation.
According to a 1994 survey of the Nebraska Department of
Corrections System:
• Of 452 male respondents in 3 prisons, 101 or 22%
indicated they had been “pressured or forced to have
sexual contact against their will.
• A third of the targets said they were victimized only
once, 38% between 2-5 times. 14% said they were
victimized 11 or more times. The average number of
victimizations was 9.
• 42% were victims of gang rape. A single perpetrator
was involved in half of the most serious cases. 10%
of the incidents involved groups of 6 or more. The
numbers of attacks perpetrated by strangers and
acquaintances were equally divided.
• Prison staff was reported as perpetrators in 18% of the
• The victim was injured in 32% of the cases and a
weapon was used in 27% of the cases.
Following U.S. Justice Department investigations of
women’s prisons in California from 1997 to 1998, their
findings showed that nearly every female inmate interviewed
reported various sexually aggressive acts by guards.
A number of women reported that officers routinely cornered
women while they were in their cells or on work
details and pressed their bodies against them mocking sexual
intercourse or exposed their genitals while making sexually
suggestive remarks.

Domestic violence and sexual abuse

Physical violence in intimate relationships almost always is
accompanied by psychological abuse, and in one-third to
over half of cases, by sexual abuse.


Juvenile prostitution offenders known to police were
more often male (61%) than female (39%), a greater
disproportion than among adult prostitution offenders
(53% male and 47% female).
• Police are less likely to arrest juvenile prostitutes than
adult prostitutes but were more likely to arrest male
juvenile prostitutes than female juvenile prostitutes.
• Female juvenile prostitutes were more likely to be
referred to social service agencies than male juvenile

Finally- the connection between paedophilia and being gay, lesbian or bi

82% of the suspected perpetrators of child sexual abuse in
a study sample were at the time of the offense or had been
at some time involved in a heterosexual relationship witha
close relative of the child they victimized. In their study
sample, researchers found that a child’s risk of being
molested by his or her relative’s heterosexual partner was
over 100 times greater than their being molested by someone
who identifies as being homosexual, lesbian or bisexual
(0.7% of the cases).

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