Sexual Victimization Prevalence in the United States

Sexual victimization (SV) is the perpetration of unwanted, abusive, non-contact, and contact sex acts without the free consent from the victim or against an individual with no capacity to agree voluntarily. Such deeds may include forcible rape, sexual coercion, and drug or alcohol-facilitated rape or assault. According to Postmus, women victimization is a widespread crime, disproportionately affecting African American, Caucasian, and Latina women. SV is a significant public, judicial, and societal concern with severe, devastating, and long-lasting physical, psychological, and mental health implications.

Types of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a general term encompassing criminal acts of perpetrating forced or undesired behaviors by one person against the body of the victim without the latter’s consent. It is typically categorized into contact and non-contact acts and includes forcible rape, coerced sex, and drug or alcohol-facilitated rape. For instance, a perpetrator can induce their victim to consume some substances or alcohol as a tactic to incapacitate or impair the person’s consciousness. The non-contact category encompasses such acts as indecent exposure and making unwanted sexual advances verbally or through messages.

Types of Rape and Their Prevalence in the United States

There are several types of rape, and the categorization is based on various considerations, including the specific actions involved, the perpetrator, and the victim. Generally, rape is defined as a violent crime entailing the penetration of any body organ or object into the vagina, anal orifice, or the mouth of another person without their consent. The various types of rape include diminished capacity, age-related, incest, intimate partner, acquaintance, and aggravated rape.

Diminished Capacity Rape

The diminished capacity rape is the forced sexual penetration of an individual who cannot consent to the act being committed due to their limited intellectual or physical ability. The dominant attributes in this category of rape are the unequal levels of mental willingness or desire and the deceptive nature of the inducement. Diminished capacity is a prevalent occurrence but is underreported mainly due to the victims’ level of impairment.

Age-Related Rape

Age-related or statutory rape is the commission of non-forcible sexual actions with an individual below the stipulated minimum age of consent. This implies that the adult engages in sexual activity with a person who does not have the legal capacity to agree to the intercourse. In the United States, national statistics indicate that statutory rape is prevalent, with many teenagers engaging in a sexual encounter before attaining the majority age. This implies that age-related rape in the country is a prevalent occurrence.


Although controversially categorized, incest is a type of rape defined by the relationship between the people. Notably, when two individuals who are closely related engage in sexual acts, it is often non-consensual. In most instances, these actions involve parents and children, nephews, nieces, uncles, and aunts. According to Sajala and RAINN, incest is widespread in the United States, with statistics indicating that 2.5% of all sexual abuse incidences are committed by a non-spouse relative. Therefore, incest is a major problem in the country with severe long-term implications.

Partner Rape

Also known as spousal or marital rape, this category of sexual violence involves the perpetration of criminal actions on the body of another by someone the victim is in relation with or is married to. Similar to other rape cases, the absence of consent is the essential component, qualifying the encounter as an unwanted advance. Patra et al. note that incidences of sexual violence instigated by an intimate partner are widespread in the United States. In this regard, this category of rape ranks among the largest contributors to the country’s rape cases.

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