According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2011, nearly one in five women (18.3 %) and one in seventy- one men (1.4%) in the United States have been victims of rape sometime in their lifetime. Statistics on sexual violence underestimate the true extent of the problem. Many victims do not report the violence; some are afraid of repercussions or think that no one will believe them. In South Carolina, many cases are go unreported. In 2016 (latest year available), according to the Uniform Crime Report from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, there were 1,711 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement. The 15 sexual assault centers across the state reported in 2017 providing services for 5,698 primary and 3,465 secondary victims. However, many more victims do not ever report to law enforcement or seek services, because victims are afraid to tell anyone, including the police, service providers, friends, or family about the abuse.
Sexual violence is not inevitable, it is preventable. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) along with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) and the 15 Sexual Assault Centers across the state are all working toward a common goal of ultimately ending sexual violence in our state. They will utilize the FY19 Rape Prevention and Education grant funding provided through the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to implement sexual violence primary prevention strategies with emphasis on providing these programs at the community level of the Social-Ecological Framework of Prevention, while building program evaluation capacity and infrastructure. Through collaboration, advocacy, and education, it is the collective vision of South Carolina to create a safe climate where males and females can live together with mutual respect.