Data highlight

In 2022, Oklahoma ranked 8th out of 50 for the rate of rapes in the US. Alaska had the highest rate at 134 per 100,000 people, and New Jersey had the lowest at 16.8 per 100,000 people.


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Lifetime Prevalence of Contact Sexual Violence by Women. 

Source: Smith SG, Khatiwada S, Richardson L, Basile KC, Friar NW, Chen J, Zhang Kudon H, & Leemis RW. (2023). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2016/2017 State Report. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.



Sexual violence is a broad term that includes numerous behaviors.  As defined by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, contact sexual violence includes “rape, being made to penetrate someone else (males only), sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact.”

Why we care:

Women are more likely to experience sexual violence than men. 

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2016/2017 over half of women (54.3%)reported experiencing contact sexual violence while a bit less than 1 in 3 men (30.7%) experienced this type of victimization.

Figures 1 & 2: Basile, K.C., Smith, S.G., Kresnow, M., Khatiwada S., & Leemis, R.W. (2022). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2016/2017 Report on Sexual Violence. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women often internalize experiences of sexual violence as a personal failing. This is likely why when compared to other women, those who live through a sexually violent incident are more likely to suffer from PTSD and experience recurring reproductive, stomach, heart, and sexual health problems.

Survivors of sexual violence may also develop negative health behaviors like smoking, abusing substances, and engaging in risky sexual activity to cope with the fallout of their experience.

The long-term mental and physical consequences of sexual violence can also affect women’s jobs and relationships. Survivors may need time off work to heal and see their work performance diminish. This can lead to lack of career advancement and even job loss. 

When lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and medical costs are all considered, estimates put the lifetime cost of rape at $122,461 per victim. 


Contact sexual violence is underreported. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey2, in 2022, only 21.4% of all rape/sexual assault was reported to law enforcement

National data on the full range of sexual violence that included a state-by-state breakdown was last published in 2017 and analyzed survey results from 2010-2012.

Data on rape, which is only one type of sexual violence, paints a narrower but more current picture of sexual violence in Oklahoma. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is frequently updated and allows us to compare rape cases reported to law enforcement across the nation. That’s why we use it as our main metric, but it isn’t perfect.

Cases cannot be broken down by gender, and it is important to note that many rapes are never reported to law enforcement. So while 52.8/100,000 (or 0.05%) of Oklahomans reported a rape to law enforcement in 2020, 8.9% of Oklahoma women alone reported having had sex without their consent in the same year.

In 2021, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies reported 4,532 unique victims of sex offenses, which comprised 7.6% of all victims of crimes against persons. Women comprised 85.4% of these victims. Only 340 arrestees were reported for these crimes.

Through more recent and inclusive research, we know that women who are disabled, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or Black, Brown, or Indigenous, are more likely to experience sexual violence. They are also less likely to report it to healthcare providers or law enforcement.

What we can do:

This issue brief was written by Metriarch staff as part of our Data Lookbook. Peer review and contributions provided by:  Angela Beatty, Brandon Pasley, and Mikela Rhodes with YWCA Oklahoma City.

Suggested citation
 Metriarch. “Social Dynamics,” Data Lookbook (2024). URL:

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