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Rape, Incidence of

Rape is a violent crime that victimizes women worldwide. A 2001 World Bank report estimates that one in three women throughout the world has been raped or sexually assaulted. Rape incidents lead to trauma and involve physical violence and mental anguish associated with injury, pain, fear, and humiliation. Although public awareness and research on rape have increased in the past 30 years, measuring the extent and magnitude of rape incidents and their toll on victims remains difficult. Variations in research methodologies and definitions of rape complicate understanding rape's global impact.

Underreporting of rapes by victims to law enforcement authorities is a troubling issue, and factors such as fear of the attacker, self-blame for being attacked, and embarrassment discourage victims from reporting rape.

In the United ...

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