PTSD Facts

PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, affecting nearly 8% of the population.

  • 50% of all rape survivors experience PTSD
  • from 1996-1998, more than 5 million children were exposed to some sort of severe traumatic event.
  • 20 million + children with PTSD are among the least understood group in the U.S.
  • 1 million veterans from the Vietnam era suffer from PTSD
  • Although many people still equate PTSD with combat trauma, the experience most likely to produce PTSD is rape.
  • PTSD is possibly the highest per capita cost of any psychological condition.
  • 33-47% are still symptomatic a year after the event
  • 5% of men, 10% of women, 30% of those are chronic
  • 7.8% of all Americans will suffer from PTSD at some point in their life.
  • About 3.6% of U.S. adults aged 18 – 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year.
  • This represents a small portion of those who have experienced at  least one traumatic event; 60.7% of men and 51.2% of women reported at least one traumatic event.
  • The co-occurring disorder most prevalent for men with PTSD were alcohol abuse or dependent (51.9%), major depressive episodes (47.9%), conduct disorders (43.3%), and drug abuse and dependence (34.5%).
  • The disorders most frequently comorbid with PTSD among women were major depressive disorders (48.5%), simple phobias (29%), social phobias (28.4%) and alcohol abuse/dependence (27.9%).
  • In 2002 there were 247,730 survivors of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
  • 1 out of every 6 American women have been the survivor of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime – a total of 17.7 million woman.
  • 2.78 million men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • 44% of rape survivors are under the age of 18.
  • In 2001, only 1 out of every 3 rape and assaults were reported.

Rape and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Combat is not the only way in which post traumatic stress disorder can be contracted. Witnessing a natural disaster, being raped, and seeing family or friends murdered or severely harmed are just some of the other emotional disasters that some people must live through.

Rape Statistics

In 2003, there were 198,850 people who were rape victims or victims of attempted rape or sexual assault. During these crimes, 81,000 of the victims were actually raped while 61,060 were victims of attempted rape. Sixty percent of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported to police. Increased awareness and tougher law enforcement has led to a decline of rape and sexual assault by approximately sixty-five percent since 1993. In America, a person is raped every two and a half minutes. Due to rape, approximately 4,065 unplanned pregnancies occurred in 2003.

Rape vs. Sexual Assault

Rape involves the use of physical or emotional force in order to produce unwanted sexual intercourse. Sexual assault is very similar to rape, but generally is limited to using force in order to produce unwanted sexual contact but not necessarily intercourse.

The Victims

According to the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control, one in every six American women are victims of a rape or attempted rape. Men are not immune to rape as 2.78 million men have been victims of rape while in the year 2003, one in every ten rape victims was male. Race seems to play a role in rape as eighty percent of all rape victims are white, while minorities are at higher risk of being assaulted. Younger people are oftentimes at greater risk of being raped. Fifteen percent of rape victims are under age twelve, twenty-nine percent are between the ages of twelve and seventeen, forty-four percent are under eighteen, and eighty percent of victims are under thirty. Ninety-three percent of sexual assault victims who were minors knew their attacker. In 1995, approximately 126,000 children were victimized sexually. Of these 126,000 children, seventy-five percent were female and almost thirty percent of the children victimized were between four and seven years old. It is clear that no one is completely safe from rape and the victims of these horrible crimes are very susceptible to the effects of post traumatic stress disorder.