One In Every Five

  • Six young men, ages 16 to 18, were recently accused of the gang rape of a fellow high school student in Florida [1]. The sexual assault occurred after school. The underage victim was convinced to accompany her assailants into a wooded area. When the intentions of the group became clear, the victim attempted to leave, but was prevented. Some are publicly defending the assailants on Twitter.

There is a rape every 6.2 minutes in the United States; one in five women in this country is likely to be raped in her lifetime [2][3]. Because rape is under-reported, the figures may be higher. Eighty three year old women have been raped, as have four year olds.

The United States does not separately collect data on gang rapes. It is estimated, however, that 25% of all rapes are gang rapes [4]. These are almost always premeditated [6][7].

A 2013 report on rape and gang rape in the medical journal, The Lancet Global Health, listed entertainment, sexual entitlement, and punishment of the victim among the motives given [5]. Associated factors often include alcohol, poverty, “proof” of heterosexual prowess, a need for dominance over women, gang-related activity, and a history of child abuse.

Violence against women is pervasive. It has no age limits and no geographic boundaries. In this so called enlightened era, their sexual partners, the fathers of their unborn children, are still the leading cause of death to pregnant women.

And we still blame women for the violence perpetrated against them. She was asking for it, wearing that skirt. What else would you expect?

Unless and until we view such violence as a human rights issue, and take steps accordingly, women will be condemned to fulfill the pronouncement attributed to the Fall of Mankind: “ ‘In pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you’ ” (Gen. 3: 16).

[1] NBC News, “Six Teens Arrested for Alleged Florida Gang Rape” by Hasani Gittens, 11/19/14,

[2] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, CTS 2011 Sexual Violence, Total Sexual Offenses Against Children at National Level,

[3], “A Rape a Minute, A Thousand Corpses a Year” by Rebecca Solnit, 1/25/13,

[4] The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), “Gang Rape and the Culture of Violence in South Africa” by Lloyd Vogelman and Sharon Lewis (2013),

[5] The Lancet Global Health, “Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Non-Partner Rape Perpetration: Findings from the UN Multi-Country Cross-Sectional Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific” by Rachel Jewkes, et al (2013).

[6] Theories of Rape: Recent Inquiries into the Causes of Sexual Aggression by Lee Ellis (Ed.) (1989).

[7] Encyclopedia of Rape by Merril Smith (Ed.) (2004).



Filed under Child Abuse, Law, Religion, Violence Against Women

2 responses to “One In Every Five

  1. Shocking that women are suspected and blamed. Thank you for raising awareness. x

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