Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Violence Against Women 2014, Vol. 20(5) 485– 499

DOI: 10.1177/1077801214528856


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Sexual violence (SV) is a significant public health problem. Using data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), this article provides state-specific 12-month SV prevalence data for women residing in 23 states and two territories. Overall, more than 500,000 women in the participating states experienced completed or attempted nonconsensual sex in the 12-month period prior to the survey. The collection of state-level data using consistent, uniform, and behaviorally specific SV definitions enables states to evaluate the magnitude of the problem within their state and informs the development and evaluation of state-level SV programs, policies, and prevention efforts.