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Sexual Violence: Data Sources

Quick Facts

CDC Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world's largest on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. The health departments of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands conduct the survey. From 2005 through 2007, CDC funded an optional module to the ongoing BRFSS on sexual violence victimization.
  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP)
    NEISS-AIP provides nationally representative data about all types and causes of nonfatal injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. CDC uses NEISS-AIP data to generate national estimates of nonfatal injuries, including those related to sexual violence.
  • National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 
    CDC's Injury Center, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Justice and the Department of Defense, developed this telephone survey to collect ongoing population-based surveillance data and generate accurate and reliable prevalence estimates of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking victimization.

The primary objectives of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey are to describe:

  • The prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence
  • Who is most likely to experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking
  • The patterns and impact of the violence experienced by specific perpetrators
  • The health consequences of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking

Information on additional reports and products related to the National Violence Against Women Survey is available from National Institute of Justice.

  • National Violent Death Reporting System
    CDC has funded the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 32 states to gather, share, and link state-level data on violent deaths. NVDRS provides CDC and states with a more complete understanding of violent deaths. This enables policy makers and community leaders to make informed decisions about violence prevention programs, including those that address sexual violence and intimate partner violence.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
    CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability, including lifetime sexual violence victimization (ongoing) and 12 month physical and sexual dating violence victimization (beginning in 2013) of young people in the United States.

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Other Federal Data Sources

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Since the 1930s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been collecting data on crime in the United States. Each year, the FBI publishes a summary of Crime in the United States, Hate Crime Statistics, special studies, reports, and monographs.
  • National Crime Victimization Survey
    National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the primary source of information on criminal victimization in the United States. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of 77,200 households comprising nearly 134,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey enables the Bureau of Justice Statistics to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft. This information is provided for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders.

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Non-Federal Data Sources

  • National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
    The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) explores the causes of health-related behaviors of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 and their outcomes in young adulthood. The study provides an ongoing, real time life view, examining how social contexts (families, friends, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities) influence health and risk behaviors. New funding will support additional data collection, analysis, and dissemination when participants will be ages 31-42 years old.

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Additional Resources

Journal Articles

  • Basile KC, Black MC, Simon TR, Arias I, Brener ND, Saltzman LE. The Association between Self-Reported Lifetime History of Forced Sexual Intercourse and Recent Health-Risk Behaviors: Findings from the 2003 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. J Adolesc Health. 2006; 39(5), 752.e1-752.e7.
  • Basile KC. Prevalence of wife rape and other intimate partner sexual coercion in a nationally representative sample of women. Violence Vict. 2002; 17(5): 511–524.
  • Basile KC, Chen J, Black MC, Saltzman LE. Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence victimization among U.S. adults 2001-2003. Violence Vict. 2007; 22(4):437–448.
  • Basile KC, Smith SG. Sexual Violence Victimization of Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and the Role of Public Health and Prevention. Am J Lifestyle Med . 2011; 5 (5), 407–417.
  • Black MC, Basile, KC, Breiding MJ, Ryan GW. Prevalence of Sexual Violence Against Women in 23 States and Two U.S. Territories, BRFSS 2005. Violence Against Women. 2014; 20 (5): 485–499.
  • Elliott DM, Mok DS, Briere J. Adult sexual assault: prevalence, symptomatology, and sex differences in the general population. J Trauma Stress. 2004; 17(3):203–211.
  • Fisher BS, Cullen FT, Turner MG. The sexual victimization of college women. Washington: Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice; 2000. Publication No. NCJ 182369. Available from: [PDF 959 KB]
  • Kaysen D, Clayton N, Martell J, Fossos N, Larimer M. Incapacitated rape and alcohol use: A prospective analysis. Addict Behav. 2006; 31:1820–1832.
  • Kilpatrick DG, Resnick HS, Ruggiero KJ, Conoscenti LM, McCauley J. Drug-facilitated, incapacitated, and forcible rape: A national study. Washington: Department of Justice (US); 2007. Publication No. NCJ 219181. Available online at [PDF 3.2 MB]
  • Saltzman LE, Basile KC, Mahendra R, Steenkamp M, Ingram E, Ikeda R. National Estimates of Sexual Violence Treated in Emergency Departments. Ann Emerg Med. 2007; 49(2):210–217.
  • Suris A, Lind L. Military sexual trauma: A review of prevalence and associated health consequences in veterans. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2008; 9:250–269.

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