Sexual assault is a pervasive social problem with 18% of women and 3% of men experiencing a completed or attempted assault during their lifetime. More than half of victimizations occur before the survivor reaches the age of eighteen (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Research also shows that twothirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the survivor, such as an acquaintance, friend or intimate partner. In fact, approximately 15% of sexual assaults are committed by an intimate partner. Many sexual assault survivors experience multiple negative outcomes such as psychological distress, physical health problems, and difficulties in life functioning (Gutner, Rizvi, Monson, & Resick, 2006; Kilpatrick & Acierno, 2003).
Patterson, D. (2009, September). The Effectiveness of Sexual Assault Services in Multi-Service Agencies. Harrisburg, PA: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence/Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from: http://www.vawnet.org