Trauma Facts

Trauma is a common experience for adults and children in American communities, and it is especially common in the lives of people with mental and substance use disorders. For this reason, the need to address trauma is increasingly seen as an important part of effective behavioral health care.


  • A lifetime history of sexual abuse among women in childhood or adulthood ranges from 15% to 25%.
  • The prevalence of domestic violence among women in the United States ranges from 9% to 44%, depending on definitions.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence, which disproportionately affects women and girls, was estimated to be $8.3 billion in 2003. This total includes the costs of medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity.
  • In a 2008 study by RAND, 18.5% of returning veterans reported symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
  • In the United States, 18.9% of men and 15.2% of women reported a lifetime experience of a natural disaster.”

A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators. Last year the National Crime Victimization Survey turned up a remarkable statistic. For the first time, an item had been added to the survey in which male participants had to identify forced sexual behavior. The item, "Made to Penetrate", is important in that it distinguishes the male body's sexual responsiveness from willingness. In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men. Male victims have been historically less likely to report or seek treatment, but that is changing.                                                                                       

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