Special Issue: 10-Year Anniversary Edition

Exploring Problems with Sexual Violence Data and the Potential to Impact Reform

Erin Bowers
Athabasca University
Published November 16, 2020


There has been an abundance of worldwide research into sexual violence (SV). However, problems exist with data collection that include cross-cultural considerations, perceptions of rape and victimization, and study methodology issues. These problems affect the ability for the research to lead to meaningful and lasting reform. This paper discusses worldwide SV trends, prevalence rates, impacts for females, and the effects of creating change. Issues explored include cultural norms, legal practices, perceptions of SV, study design, and age of research. Recommendations for research, programming, and policy are discussed with a focus on study methodology, program design, program evaluation, and using human rights to advocate for change.