Preventing Sexual Violence

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. Help promote healthy, respectful relationships this month with CDC’s resources.

Facts about Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is any sexual activity where consent is not freely given. Sexual violence affects millions of people each year in the United States.  The 2015 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) reports

  • More than 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape in their lifetimes.

Sexual Violence is Preventable

Sexual violence impacts health in many ways and can lead to short and long-term physical and mental health problems. Victims may experience chronic pain, headaches, and sexually transmitted diseases. They are often fearful or anxious and may have problems trusting others. Promoting healthy and respectful relationships can help reduce sexual violence.

If you are or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence:

  • Contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. Help is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Get information at RAINNExternal.
  • Contact your local emergency services at 9-1-1.

Prevention Resources

CDC works to prevent sexual violence before it happens.

For more online resources, visit our Sexual Violence Prevention Webpages and CDC’s VetoViolence website.  VetoViolence is CDC’s online source of free violence prevention trainings, tools, and resources.