Sexual Violence Prevention

Sexual violence happens in every community.

Victims are never to blame.

Newly released: Sexual Violence in Wisconsin

Sexual violence fact sheet

More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced contact sexual violence in their lifetime. Learn more about the impact of sexual violence in this new fact sheet, P-02763.

Sexual violence impacts everyone, but disproportionately affects people in marginalized communities.

47% of transgender adults have experienced sexual assault

7% of Wisconsin high school students and 16% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students have been raped.

Adult woman with hand in front of face with Stop Sexual Assault written on it.

What you can do

  • Support victims and survivors
  • Know and practice consent
  • Be an active bystander
  • Help shift harmful norms
  • Be aware of the language you use
  • Build connections and support organization and events in your community that are working to end sexual violence

Looking for support?

You can find information on the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault website to connect with a service provider near you.

Sexual violence is a verbal and/or physical act that breaks a person's trust and safety and is sexual in nature. Behaviors range from sexual harassment to unwanted fondling to forced penetration.
All are done without consent.


Sexual assault is defined in Wis. Stat. § 940.225 (Sexual Assault); Wis. Stat. § 940.32 (Stalking); Wis. Stat. § 948.02–948.11 (Sexual Assault of a Child); Wis. Stat. § 940.302 (Human trafficking).

Data in Wisconsin

  • From 2006 to 2010, about 4,960 sexual assaults were reported annually to law enforcement.
  • 90% of victims know the person who assaults them.
  • Two-thirds of the victims of reported assaults are less than 15 years of age.
  • Over four-fifths of victims are female.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) Wisconsin women are raped during their lives (Kilpatrick, D.G, Ruggiero, K.J., 2003).

Nationally, only 39% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement (Shannan M. Catalano, 2005). In Wisconsin, that would mean an estimated annual incidence of sexual assault of 12,672, the population of Two Rivers, Wisconsin.



Education and prevention programs:  
Program services for survivors:
Additional data sources:

Contact Information

Division of Public Health
P.O. Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659

Last Revised: September 17, 2020