CDC Study: 1 in 5 Women in the United States Have Been Raped

A comprehensive study recently released by the Center for Disease Control has found that nearly 1 in 5 women in America report that they were raped. Not just during their time in college, which is a statistic we’re all depressingly familiar with — the CDC found that 19.3 percent of women in the United States have been raped at some point in their life.

According to the 2011 study, which surveyed 14,155 people, an estimated 19.3 percent of women and 1.7 percent of men said they had been raped. An estimated 43.9 percent of women and 23.4 percent of men said they suffered some other form of sexual violence. Just to reiterate, for anyone who doubts that sexual assault is a serious, ubiquitous problem in our culture: nearly half of women and a quarter of men endure unwanted sexual contact or sexual coercion in their lifetimes. That’s fucking horrific.

And, across different races and ethnicities, the proportion of women who report being raped is distressingly high: an estimated 32.3 percent of multiracial women, 27.5 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 21.2 percent of non-Hispanic black women, 20.5 percent of non-Hispanic white women, and 13.6 percent of Hispanic women say they’ve been raped.

“A substantial proportion of U.S. female and male adults have experienced some form of sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence at least once during their lifetimes,” the CDC report concludes. “Consistent with previous studies, the overall pattern of results suggest that women, in particular, are heavily impacted over their lifetime.”

This is something women have been saying since time immemorial, and something skeptics have been eagerly trying to debunk for just as long — because, you know, our lived experiences are meaningless and untrustworthy due to our gender. Conservatives, in particular, are obsessed with trying to prove that the 1 in 5 college rape statistic is wrong and that rape culture is made up. Guess what, guys: it’s really not!

Sadly, though, I think it’s going to take a lot more than an official report from a government agency to disabuse misogynists of their faulty convictions.

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