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Sexual violence prevention statistics & resources

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed, attempted or alcohol/drug-facilitated rape.  For Coloradans, 1 in 3 people experience some form of sexual violence, in their lifetime, 80% of which take place prior to the age of 25.  The likelihood of repeat victimization increases, for youth who have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18.

Forty-two percent of victims experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.

The 2010 NISVS indicates the lifetime prevalence of sexual violence acts other than rape for women in Colorado is 47.4%, versus 44.6% in the nation as a whole and for men in Colorado is 26.5%, versus 22.2% for the nation as a whole.

Additionally, the CDC reports that men and women with a lifetime history of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner were more likely to report frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, activity limitations, and poor physical health in general compared with those without a history of intimate partner violence.

According to the 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Report, which was completed by 46,537 students from 199 schools,10.1%  of female students and 3.4%  of male students reported having been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when she/he did not want to have intercourse. Additionally, 8% of surveyed students reported making unwelcome sexualized comments, jokes, gestures, or leering, and 4% of Colorado students overall reported touching, grabbing, pinching, or otherwise handling someone in a sexual way, despite it being noted as unwanted by the victim. Further 9.5% of Colorado students report that they had experienced physical dating/relationship violence. Research has shown that physical violence in the context of teen relationships or casual dating, often predicts sexual violence.

While these data provide some context to the prevalence of sexual violence in Colorado, data on the magnitude of sexual violence remains incomplete. Measuring the true magnitude of sexual violence is difficult, due to issues of nondisclosure, different data collection, and analysis methodologies, and the varying definitions of sexual violence.

Further resources