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How Common is Sexual Abuse?

One out of every three girls and one in seven guys will be sexually assaulted before they reach the age of eighteen! But more than half of the victims will not tell anyone within a year of the assault. Most of them feel guilty and cover up the sexual abuse.

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Perhaps even more alarming is the attitudes many guys have about sexual abuse and assault. A national study of 1,700 sixth to ninth grade students revealed that:

  • 65 percent of today’s students say it is acceptable for a man to rape a girl (force her to have sex) if they’ve been dating for more than six months.
  • 25 percent said it was acceptable to rape a girl if a guy spends money on her.
  • 87 percent said it was acceptable for a husband to rape his wife.

Over a three-year period, 6,100 undergraduates were surveyed on 32 college campuses with these results:

  • 1 in 4 women surveyed were victims of rape or attempted rape.
  • 84 percent of those raped knew their attackers.
  • 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates.
  • 75 percent of the men and 55 percent of the women involved in date rapes had been drinking or taking drugs before the attack.
  • 42 percent of the rape victims told no one about the attack.
  • Only 5 percent reported their rapes to the police or sought help at a rape crisis center.
  • 42 percent of the women who had been raped and 55 percent of the men who committed a rape said they had sex again with their victims.
  • 84 percent of the men who committed rape said that what they did was definitely not rape.

And finally, a survey among 247 females at a Christian liberal arts college found that at least 19 percent of all the females on campus had been abused before the age of eighteen.

The chances are great that there are, even in your church youth group, other kids who have been sexually abused. Some may be in the midst of continuing abuse. Or you may be a victim.

Taken from The Teenage Q&A Book, pg. 183