The Statistics of Abuse

Morrigan Armstrong , Senior Reporter

The genuine statistics concerning abuse of any and all forms has been lacking for many years, likely thanks to large amounts of victim blaming and perpetrators getting away with what they’ve done without any consequences. The victims in these situations often keep quiet and hide what happened to them to avoid the mistreatment of their peers, but in our current age, we have many areas where people can seek help without immediately being shamed, or told that it was their fault somehow. Despite this, most don’t know what exactly abuse entails, often excusing the actions of others or their own. These misunderstandings often skew the numbers, leading to underestimates of what is truly happening. 

Even though there is usually information missing, many organizations across Oregon have been doing what they can to make their information as accurate as possible. According to Clackamas Women’s Services, approximately half of Oregon’s population of women and girls have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives so far, with one out of every three rape victims reporting that they were first assaulted between the ages of eleven and seventeen. Another one of eight women or girls who reported being raped stated that they were first targeted before the age of ten. Men and boys, on the other hand, report much less than women and girls, yet what little information there is shows that at least half of male reported rape victims were, at most, the age of seventeen when they were first assaulted. Connecting these statistics shows that a large portion of sexual assault survivors was underage, merely children, when their abuse started.  

At least one out of every thirty-three men in the United States have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, and these victims more often than not experience the same psychological repercussions that women deal with after being raped, sometimes having slight differences. Men are more likely to experience anger-based feelings afterward and are more likely to, consciously or unconsciously, gaslight themselves into thinking that it was consensual and believe that they wanted the assault. 

As data collection on sexual assaults, in general, is difficult, it becomes even more difficult when it comes to the LGBTQ community, as they are highly targeted for assaults, not just sexually-based attacks, and there is much more discrimination against an LGBTQ  survivor than a cisgendered, heterosexual survivor. As there are many sexual assault victims out there who don’t report what happened to them, there are also members of the LGBTQ community who hide who they are, along with the abuse they’ve experienced. Despite this, in 2015 approximately forty-eight percent of transgender people reported having been sexually assaulted, and around fifty-four percent reported having experienced some form of violence by an intimate partner. 

If you have experienced or are experiencing anything similar to what was described, please reach out to a hotline or resource center near you. In Oregon, there are many, such as Clackamas Women’s Services, the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and SARC (Sexual Assault Resouce Center).