4 Rape and Sexual Assault men will endure an attempted or completed rape in their life- time (Tjaden and Thoennes 1998). The National Sexual Vio- lence Resource Center (NSVRC) placed the risk of rape for women even higher, reporting in a 1998 survey that one in every five American women will experience attempted or com- pleted rape in their lifetime. Sexual assault occurs in all areas of our society, including homes, workplaces, schools, college campuses, the military, and prisons. It happens on dates, at parties, in committed relationships, in both public locations and private. It is perpe- trated by family members, peers, romantic partners, cowork- ers, acquaintances, and strangers. And while women, girls, and people from marginalized gender and sexual communities are especially vulnerable, sexual assault can happen to anyone, het- erosexual or gay, young or old, female or male, transgender or cisgender. It spans all races, socioeconomic classes, geographi- cal regions, and religions. In sum, it is a universal evil. While several high-profile sexual assault cases have domi- nated the headlines in recent years, sexual violence is nothing new. Accounts of sexual assault can be found in ancient Greek and Roman writings, religious texts like the Christian Bible, and has been perpetrated by colonizers and soldiers through- out history and around the world. Tragically, the history of humankind is marred by sexual violence. Different theories attempt to explain why sexual violence exists, and there are various approaches to try to stop it. Activists and survivors have long played a role in attempting to hold perpetrators and rape- supportive cultures accountable. Within the United States, a long history of anti-rape advocacy has resulted in increased awareness of the scope of the problem, expansion of support systems for survivors, and various legislative attempts to reduce assault and hold perpetrators accountable. Despite these posi- tive changes, however, we still have alarming rates of sexual violence. There is clearly a great deal of work yet to be done. It is worth noting that the full impact of the COVID-19 pan- demic on sexual violence is largely yet to be seen. Preliminary
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