18.3% of U.S. Women Are Victims of Rape or Attempted Rape

Experts who spoke with the Associated Press and The New York Times called the results of a new survey from Centers for Disease Control "striking" and "astounding."

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Experts who spoke with the Associated Press and The New York Times called the results of a new survey from Centers for Disease Control "striking" and "astounding." According to the report, about one in five American women, or 18.3 percent, have been raped at some point in their lives, with the CDC defining rape as "completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration." (There isn't a consensus on the definition of rape -- the FBI's definition, for example, didn't include victims of incest or male victims until just this month.) Similarly, 24.3 percent of women report being physically assaulted by a partner and 16.2 percent report being stalked. Those percentages are predictable lower for U.S. men -- only 1 in 71 say they've been raped, for example -- but that's not the surprising part of the results. Experts are amazed by just how high the number of women raped is. “I don’t think we’ve really known that it was this prevalent in the population," said the CDC's Linda C. Degutis.

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