Sexual violence is a pervasive public health problem in the United States. In December 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Throughout the country, headlines of local and national papers described that rape is more common than previously thought.
Today an article published in on Significance Magazine’s web site, a publication of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society, compared these rates to those of smoking – 18.3% of women over 18 reported being sexual assaulted in their lifeline while 17.4% of women reported smoking. Let consider this as we set health priorities.
Just as in smoking prevention, preventing sexual violence before it happens in the first place is crucial. NISVS demonstrated that sexual violence often first happen when peopel are young, thus early prevention efforts are vital.
For more information on NISVS go to CDC’s NISVS page. You can also find materials on PreventConnect, VawNet’s NISVS Resource Page and the NSVRC’s NISVS Page.
Photo from Raul Lieberwirth.