Take Rape Seriously
From courtrooms to college campuses, myths and stereotypes about rape continue to fuel an epidemic of sexual assault. The CDC estimates that more than 1 million women are raped in the U.S. in a year. One in five women will be raped in her lifetime, but only 3% of perpetrators will ever serve time in prison. NOW-NYC’s Take Rape Seriously campaign organizes and empowers New Yorkers to stand with survivors, work toward ending a culture of rape, and push for reforms that will secure justice for more survivors.
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End the Rape Kit Backlog
Rape Facts & Stats
- Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
- Two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
- 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
- One in five girls in grades 9-12 will experience physical or emotional violence from a dating partner.
- Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from PTSD, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
- Approximately 60% of rapes are never reported to the police.
- Even in the attacks that are reported to the police, there is only a 16.3% chance that the rapist goes to prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only 3% of rapists will spend a single day in jail.
Rape On Campus
The epidemic of rape on college campuses has been widely publicized in the media, yet institutions of higher learning across the country routinely fail to address the problem. Click here for general campus resources and information.
- One in four college women surveyed are victims of rape or attempted rape.
- Colleges with 6,000+ students average one rape per day during the school year.
- 42% of college women who are raped tell no one about their assault.
- 42% of raped women said they expect to be raped again.
- 84% of college men who committed rape said that what they did was definitely not rape.
- 5% of college women who are raped report the rape to the police.
Rape in the Military
Sexual assault is a common occurrence in the military. Each year, thousands of servicewomen are sexually assaulted by fellow officers.
- An estimated 26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010.
- A female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
- A servicewoman was nearly 180 times more likely to have become a victim of military sexual assault in the past year than to have died while deployed during the last 11 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- A mere 14 percent of military sexual assaults are ever reported.
- Of 3,192 sexual-assault reports in 2011 only 191 members of the military were convicted at courts martial.
- In 2011, less than 8% of reported cases went to trial.
- 1 in 3 convicted military sex offenders remain in the military.
Rape in Prison
In 2003, the U.S. pledged to end rape in prisons. The Bureau of Justice estimates that 200,000 people are sexually abused behind bars in a single year. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) calls for a zero-tolerance policy for rape in all prisons, jails and correctional facilities.
- Nearly one in 10 prisoners reports being raped or sexually abused behind bars.
- On average, each prisoner rape survivor is assaulted three to five times a year.
- About half of the prisoners reporting abuse were victimized by staff – the very people whose job it is to keep them safe.
- More than one-third of gay and bisexual male inmates said that they were victimized by another inmate.
- Prisoner rape victims are highly vulnerable to contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
June 2005 – Won a repeal of New York’s statute of limitations on rape, which limited the time in which a rapist could be caught and charged with a crime to five years. The law needed to change in consideration of the power of DNA evidence and the difficulty survivors may have in reporting.
June 2010 - Led the way to secure an anti-strangulation bill in New York State. Prior to passage of the bill, choking was not considered an assault unless evidence of serious physical injury was found (often difficult to show in cases of strangling.)
October 2010 - Launched “Take Rape Seriously” campaign in response to the case of Tony Simmons – a juvenile detention guard who admitted to sexually assaulting three teen girls in his custody. Initially, Simmons received a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of probation.
November 2010 - Mobilized anti-violence advocates and rape crisis centers across the city to turn up the pressure on the Manhattan DA’s office and the Judge, through meetings, protests, petitions, letters, and media coverage, calling for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
February 2011 - Tony Simmons was convicted of molesting two girls in juvenile detention and was sentenced to four years in prison and ten years probation.
April 2011 - Takes the New York Daily News to task for repeatedly calling rape victims “accusers.”
May 2011 - Organized with anti-violence groups and local leaders to publicly protest the shocking acquittal of two NYPD officers accused of rape: Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata. Despite overwhelming evidence against them, the jury failed to convict.
August 2011 - Rallied in support of Nafissatou Diallo, a New York City hotel worker who pressed charges against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, for sexual assault. The criminal case was dropped.
September 2011 - Hosted panel discussion: “She Asked For It: How Rape Myths Hurt Us All”
February 2012 - Met with Bronx D.A. Robert Johnson, after two serial rapists walked when the office failed to file charges prior to the end of the statute of limitations.
April 2012 - Organized the first-ever citywide student summit on sexual assault called “Flip It.” The summit aimed to flip the focus from victim blaming to empowerment.
December 2013 - Developed a women’s rights agenda for incoming Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton to make reducing rape and ending violence against women a priority of this administration.
January 2014 - Launched “Evidence Ignored,” a new campaign to reduce the rape kit backlog and streamline the collection and processing of rape kits across New York State
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