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For Sexual Assault Survivors and their Family and Friends

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact, either physical or verbal. Sexual assault includes rape and attempted rape by an acquaintance, friend, family member, spouse or stranger. It also includes child sexual abuse, molestation, incest, and child sexual exploitation.

Sexual assault is a major cause of injury and trauma in the United States. One in six women and one in 33 men have experienced rape at some time in their lives, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey. Only about 16 percent of rapes are reported to police.

Who are the victims?

Women make up the majority of rape victims nine out of 10 rape victims are female. About 44 percent of rape victims are under age 18, with ages 12 to 34 being the highest risk years. Most women are assaulted by men they know.

One of every four girls and one of every six boys has been sexually assaulted by age 18. Most offenders know or are related to the children they abuse.

Who are the sexual offenders?

Rapists and child molesters come from all backgrounds and ages. Although most offenders are male, females also commit sexual offenses. Sexual assault occurs in both lesbian and gay male relationships.

Where can I find out more or get help?

To find out more about protecting both children and adults against sexual assault contact:


For more information, call the Seattle Human Services Departments Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention program at 206-386-1001.

For more information about our partners and other programs and services, visit:

Seattle Human Services Department
Street address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA 98104
Mailing address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215

Phone: 206-386-1001
Fax: 206-233-5119
TTY/TTD: 206-233-2778

Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.