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Poll: Nearly Half Of American Women Have Been Sexually Assaulted

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"Among all adults, 32 percent say they were assaulted, including 17 percent of men and 47 percent of women."

A Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday found that nearly half of American women - 47 percent - have been sexually assaulted, indicating the recent flow of sexual misconduct accusations in the media are both timely and highly relevant.

The question posed, "Have you ever been sexually assaulted, meaning someone touched you in an inappropriate, sexual manner without your consent, or not?" generated the following results:

Among all adults, 32 percent say they were assaulted, including 17 percent of men and 47 percent of women. The pattern is consistent across all age groups as 33 percent of people 18 to 34 years old, 30 percent of people 35 to 49 years old, 36 percent of people 50 to 64 years old and 34 percent of people over 65 years old say they were sexually assaulted.

Most respondents said their assault(s) happened at home or work.

Among those men and women who say they were sexually assaulted, 39 percent say it happened in social settings; 37 percent say it happened at work, 27 percent say it happened at home; 20 percent say it happened on the street and 19 percent say it happened in school.

While the number of Americans, particularly women, who have been sexually assaulted is disturbingly high, there is hope in the fact that most Americans believe speaking openly about the problem will move the country in a better direction.

Asked if people coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault change the nation for the better:

  • 52% of Americans said yes
  • 9% of Americans said no
  • 33% of Americans said it will have no impact

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