The numbers in a new Centers for Disease Control survey on sexual and domestic violence “dwarf” a 2009 Justice Department estimate on sexual assaults, Bloomberg News reports. The Justice Department estimated that 188,380 assaults occurred in the U.S. last year but the CDC, based on a 2010 survey of 16,507 adults, reports that “1.3 million women were sexually assaulted in the 12 months prior to the survey.”
About one in five American women have been sexually assaulted, the study says, with 18.3 percent of women and 1.4 percent of men saying they had been the victims of rape or attempted rape some time in their lives.
Linda Degutis, director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, told reporters in a teleconference that “Most of these victims first experienced these types of violence before they were 25 years old, often during their teenage years.”
Degutis said this is the first survey to provide estimated data on sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking from all states. Some of the state numbers are jaw-dropping.
“Alaska had the highest rate of sexual violence against women in the CDC survey, with 29 percent reporting that they had been raped in their lifetimes,” Bloomberg reports. Virginia has the lowest rate – 11 percent. The highest rate of domestic violence was in Oklahoma, where 49 percent of respondents said they had been raped, assaulted or stalked by a partner in their lifetimes. North Dakota had the lowest rate for domestic violence, at 25 percent.
The aim of the study is “to help officials stop the violence before it happens,” Degutis said.