Understanding sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking

Sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking are destructive to our society and traumatize survivors, their families and their friends. Anyone can be a victim of these acts, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, culture, gender identity, age, or sexual orientation.
Sexual assault includes a broad range of sexual acts against someone’s will by force, threat of force or in situations when an individual is unable to give consent. Such situations include, but are not limited to:
  • Rape and attempted rape by strangers and by persons known to the victim.
  • Child molestation, incest, child exploitation.
  • Sexual harassment in school, the workplace and on the streets.
  • Obscene phone calls and indecent exposure.
  • Sexual contact with an individual who is voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated (drugged) and cannot give consent.
Facts About Sexual Assault
  • In the U.S., about 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experienced some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime.
  • Two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone who is know to the victim.
  • Less than 30% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement.
Domestic violence is a pattern of control through physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse in an intimate relationship. It can include:
  • Physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse
  • Hitting, slapping, grabbing
  • Physical restraint
  • Repeated psychological abuse
  • Isolation
  • Intimidation and control
  • Forced sex
Facts About Domestic Violence
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • 1 in 8 high school students will be involved in a violent relationship before they graduate.
  • 40% of female murder victims are killed by intimate partners.


Stalking is a pattern of intentional behavior involving the repeated harassment of another person that may cause that person to feel frightened, threatened, or intimidated. While most stalking is committed by someone known to the victim, such as an ex-partner or acquaintance, some victims are stalked by strangers. Common stalking behaviors may include:

  • Repeated calls, text messages, e-mails, or contact via social media
  • Following the victim or showing up where they are
  • Using technology to track or uncover personal information about the victim
  • Threatening to hurt the victim and/or people they care about

Facts about Stalking

  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men experienced stalking at some point during their lifetime.
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 victims of stalking know their stalkers. The perpetrator is most commonly a current or former intimate partner.
  • 81% of the women who were stalked by a current or former partner were also physically assaulted by the same partner. 

Sources and additional information:

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. CDC.

American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. 2012. 4th edition. VPC.

Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008. November 2011. U.S. Department of Justice.

Domestic violence and sexual assault. NCADV. (2015).

Domestic violence national statistics. NCADV. (2015). 

Facts about domestic violence and stalking. NCADV. (2015).