Sexual Misconduct In The United States

With the arrival of new movements and protests such as the #MeToo movement, as well as the various recently settled cases of powerful men being accused or convicted of sexual assault, including Bill Cosby’s incarceration, may give the public an idea that the issue of sexual misconduct in the United States is nearing the end of its reign. However, the entirety of this thought is completely false, and the United States has much work to do before we can say that we’re making some serious progress.

Bill Cosby’s sentencing on September 25th, 2018 for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand in his home in 2004 was seen as a milestone to sexual misconduct victims on a national scale. After the report was filed by Ms. Constand in 2005, prosecutors declined to press charges against Mr. Cosby and the case was settled in civil court in 2006. Since then, many other women have come forward in saying that Cosby sexually assaulted them during his time as a major influence, eventually leading to his arrest in December of 2015 and his conviction in September of this year. This case is one of the few recent cases resulting in the arrest or obvious negative public opinion of a major person in the United States. However, what seems to have been avoided lately are the actual facts on how prevalent sexual assault continues to be in our country today.

Montgomery County Correctional
Bill Cosby Mugshot – Dated 9/25/18
From the Montgomery County Correctional Facility

Although the number of sexual assaults has fallen drastically (63%) since 1993, an American is still sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey by the Department of Justice between the years of 2010 and 2014. Another statistic from the National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in 1998 states that one in six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. The effects of sexual violence include various long term emotional impacts on victims, as well. According to the American Psychiatric Press, 30% of women reported symptoms of P.T.S.D after a rape.

Here’s the real issue with sexual assault in the United States. In 1000 cases of rapes, only 6 predators will go to jail. Out of these 1000, only 310 are reported to the police. 57 of these reports will lead to an arrest. Finally, in total, only 7 cases will lead to a felony conviction of the perpetrator, with one of these people not going to jail. This shows the problem with the current system. To resolve this, the government must enact new policies regarding cases of sexual assault as well as new ways of dealing with them. If drastic changes must be made, then they must be made. These numbers are absolutely ridiculous and shouldn’t be seen as apparent in any society, surely not our modern and advanced United States.

Sexual Violence Prevention infographic