Sexual Trauma

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual violence, or trauma, is a significant problem in the United States. Sexual violence refers to sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not given freely. Anyone can experience it, but most victims are female. The person responsible for the violence is typically male and usually someone known to the victim.
The person can be, but is not limited to, a friend, intimate partner, coworker, neighbor, or family member. The data shows that sexual violence is common. According to the CDC:
  • More than half of women and almost 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes.
  • One in 4 women and about 1 in 26 men have experienced completed or attempted rape.
  • 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 9 men experienced sexual harassment in a public place.

Get more facts about sexual violence from the CDC.


Sexual violence can have lasting, harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, and communities. We all have a role to play in preventing sexual assault.

Department of Defense Safe Helpline

Launched in 2011, the DOD Safe Helpline is the Department’s sole secure, confidential, and anonymous crisis support service specially designed for members of the DOD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline is available 24/7, worldwide. The Safe Helpline staff provides live, one-on-one support to survivors, their families, and other DOD stakeholders. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), a national anti sexual violence organization, operates the Safe Helpline, through a contract with the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO).

Last Updated 3/10/2023