Estimates of sexual violence
Surveys of victims of crime have been undertaken in many cities and countries, using a common methodology to aid comparability, and have generally included questions on sexual violence. The United Nations has conducted extensive surveys to determine the level of sexual violence in different societies. According to these studies, the percentage of women reporting having been a victim of sexual assault ranges from less than 2% in places such as La Paz, Bolivia (1.4%), Gaborone, Botswana (0.8%), Beijing, China (1.6%), and Manila, Philippines (0.3%), to 5% or more in Istanbul, Turkey (6.0%), Buenos Aires, Argentina (5.8%), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (8.0%), and Bogota, Colombia (5.0%).No distinction has been made in these figures between rape by strangers and that by intimate partners. Surveys that fail to make this distinction or those that only examine rape by strangers usually underestimate substantially the prevalence of sexual violence.Apart from crime surveys, there have been a small number of surveys, with representative samples, that have asked women about sexual violence. For instance, in a national survey conducted in the United States of America, 14.8% of women over 17 years of age reported having been raped in their lifetime (with an additional 2.8% having experienced attempted rape) and 0.3% of the sample reported having been raped in the previous year. A survey of a representative sample of women aged 18– 49 years in three provinces of South Africa found that in the previous year 1.3% of women had been forced, physically or by means of verbal threats, to have non-consensual sex. In a survey of a representative sample of the general population over 15 years of age in the Czech Republic 28:265–269, 11.6% of women reported forced sexual contact in their lifetime, 3.4% reporting that this had occurred more than once. The most common form of contact was forced vaginal intercourse.