Overview of Sexual Violence Against Women

In the United States, estimated rates of sexual violence against women are shockingly high. Perhaps due to societal values that minimize violence against women, females who are subjected to sexual violence – regardless of differences in their experiences – frequently are grouped together under the category “victim”. Similar to the experiences of males and persons with non-binary genders, once they are labeled “victim”, the women are often judged as weak and their experiences evaluated in terms of what is “real” and what is not. Such evaluation can lead to a sense of depersonalization and invalidation that reinforces the violence of the initial abuse.

The viewpoint that female victims of sexual violence are weak and their experiences invalid is inaccurate and destructive. Sexual violence is a form of torture, and the response of each individual subjected to torture is unique. Despite society’s minimization of sexual assault and its assessment of what is and what is not a “strong” victim or a “valid” experience, women who are sexually assaulted experience profound trauma.

Sexual violence doesn’t discriminate, and, committed to safety and non-discrimination, neither does the Sexual Assault Crisis Team. As such, we offer services and shelter to all victims, regardless of gender identity, occupation, skin color, or variety of violence (among other factors, such as sexual orientation and socioeconomic status).

We promote universal equality.