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Complete Health Indicator Report of Injury - Youth History of Forced Sex


History of forced sex among youth is measured by the percentage of NM high school students who answered "yes" to the question, "Have you ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when you did not want to?" on the 2015 NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey.


Number of students who indicate a lifetime history of forced sex


Number of high school students who completed the 2015 NM YRRS

Why Is This Important?

Sexual violence is a serious public health issue that directly impacts millions of people in the United States. Nationally, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced rape during their lives. The long-term impact of sexual violence victimization on suicide risk, mental health, and substance abuse has been well documented. Numerous correlational studies show that sexual violence victimization is associated with suicide ideation and attempts and with stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and chronic major depression. Sexual violence is correlated with alcohol abuse, cigarette use, and drug abuse. It has been theorized that the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with sexual assault increase the likelihood of substance abuse. Most rape survivors are first raped before they are 18 years old. Youth with a history of forced sex report lower emotional well-being and self-esteem and report feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Research consistently demonstrates a relationship between sexual assault and substance abuse. An analysis of YRRS data indicated that youth in New Mexico with a history of forced sex had more than twice the risk for alcohol use, tobacco use, and illicit drug use and more than three times the risk for poor mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts and suicide ideation, than students who did not report a history of forced sex.

Healthy People Objective: IVP-40, (Developmental) Reduce sexual violence

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

Children and adolescents who are members of marginalized communities are at increased risk for sexual violence victimization, and reducing this disparity is a priority for NMDOH OIP. In New Mexico, this includes youth who are experiencing housing instability (21.7% [17.4-26.7]), youth who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (18.9% [15.4-22.9]), youth who are living with physical disabilities (15.9% [13.3-18.9]), and youth who are foreign-born (9.4% [7.2-12.1]), Black or African American (10.5% [6.7-16.2]), and American Indian/Alaska Native (7.5% [5.8-9.8]).

How Are We Doing?

The rate of forced sex has been trending downward among youth since data collection began in 2007; however, no significant decreases have been seen from year to year.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Rates of sexual violence in NM are slightly higher than the US rate. Data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicate that 10.3% of girls and 3.1% of boys in the United States had been physically forced to have sex at some point during their lifetime, compared to 10.6% of girls and 4.1% of boys in New Mexico.

What Is Being Done?

The NMDOH Office of Injury Prevention supports sexual violence prevention and services. Prevention activities include work at all levels of the Spectrum of Prevention, including individual-level education for youth, norms change through messaging strategies, and changes to organizational policy to prevent sexual violence. During FY16, NMDOH OIP funded 11 sexual violence prevention programs reaching 4,814 students in six communities that adhered to the Principles of Effective Prevention.

Evidence-based Practices

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend four strategies for the primary prevention of sexual violence: promoting social norms that protect against violence, teaching skills to prevent sexual violence perpetration, providing opportunities to support and empower girls and women, and creating protective environments. Specific norms that have been linked to future sexual violence perpetration include acceptance of rape myth and adherence to rigid gender norms. According to the Principles of Effective Prevention, prevention programs should be comprehensive, include varied teaching methods, provide sufficient dosage, be theory driven, provide opportunities for positive relationships, be appropriately timed, be socio-culturally relevant, include outcome evaluation, and involve well-trained staff.

Available Services

NM Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (505) 883-8020 Arise Sexual Assault Services (575) 226-4665 Community Against Violence (575) 758-8082 IMPACT Personal Safety (505) 992-8833 ABQ Area Indian Health Service (505) 256-6717 La Pion SA Recovery Services (575) 526-3437 NM Asian Family Center (505) 717-2877 Rape Crisis Center of Central NM (505) 266-7712 Sexual Assault Services of NW NM (505) 325-2805 Silver Regional SA Support Services (575) 313-6203 Solace Crisis Treatment Center (505) 988-1951 Tewa Women United (505) 747-3259 Valencia Shelter Services (505) 565-3100

Health Program Information

Program evaluation includes measuring changes in attitudes and beliefs around rape myth, gender norms, and couple violence using a common survey instrument, and collecting qualitative data from teachers, program coordinators, and students. Changes in knowledge and attitudes were measured at pre-test, post-test, and one-month follow-up. The surveys were completed by 3084 students. Of the eleven programs evaluated, nine showed a statistically significant increase in rejection of rape myth at one-month follow-up; nine programs showed a significant increase in rejection of couple violence; and seven showed a significant increase in acceptance of flexible gender norms. Rates of sexual violence victimization significantly decreased in two intervention counties (Bernalillo and Santa Fe).

Related Indicators

Relevant Population Characteristics

Sexual violence is most often perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner.

Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicators:

Graphical Data Views

Youth History of Forced Sex by Year, New Mexico, 2007-2015 (odd years)

::chart - missing::

YearPercentage of Youth
Record Count: 5

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

Youth History of Forced Sex by Race and Ethnicity, New Mexico, 2015

::chart - missing::

Race/EthnicityPercentage of Youth
Record Count: 7
American Indian/Alaska Native8.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander6.2%
Black/African American13.8%
New Mexico7.5%
United States6.7%

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

Youth History of Forced Sex by Sex, New Mexico, 2015

::chart - missing::

Sex, M/FPercentage of Youth
Record Count: 3

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

Youth History of Forced Sex by Sexual Orientation, New Mexico, 2015

::chart - missing::

Sexual OrientationPercentage of Youth
Record Count: 3
Gay or Lesbian16.1%

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

Youth History of Forced Sex by Physical Disability, New Mexico, 2015

::chart - missing::

Students With DisabilitiesPercentage of Youth
Record Count: 3
Students with a Physical Disability15.0%
Students without a Physical Disability6.6%
All Students7.5%

Data Source

New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.

References and Community Resources

References Black MC, Basile KC, Breiding MJ, et al. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2011: 15-26. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. Available at: Accessed on December 16, 2016. Afifi TO, Enns MW, Cox BJ, Asmundson GJG, Stein MB, Sareen J. Population attributable fractions of psychiatric disorders and suicide ideation and attempts associated with adverse childhood experiences. Am J Public Health. 2008; 98(5): 946-952. Borowsky IW, Ireland M, Resnick MD. Adolescent suicide attempts: Risks and protectors. Pediatrics. 2001; 107(3): 485-493. Ullman S, Brecklin LR. Sexual assault history and suicidal behavior in a national sample of women. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2002; 32(2): 117-130. Kilpatrick DG, Ruggiero KJ, Acierno R, Saunders BE, Resnick HS, Best CL. Violence and risk of PTSD, major depression, substance abuse/dependence, and comorbidity: results from the National Survey of Adolescents. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003; 71(4): 692-700. Santaularia J, Johnson M, Hart L, Haskett L, Welsh E, Faseru B. Relationships between sexual violence and chronic disease: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14(1): 1286. Stahlman S, Javanbakht M, Cochran S, Hamilton AB, Shoptaw S, Gorbach PM. Mental health and substance use factors associated with unwanted sexual contact among US active duty service women. J Trauma Stress. 2015; 00: 1-7. Ackard DM, Neumark-Sztainer D, Hannan P. Dating violence among a nationally representative sample of adolescent girls and boys: associations with behavioral and mental health. J Gend Specif Med. 2002; 6(3): 39-48. Howard DE, Wang MQ. Psychosocial correlates of US adolescents who report a history of forced sexual intercourse. J Adolesc Health. 2005; 36(5): 372-379. Basile KC, DeGue S, Jones K, Freire K, Dills J, Smith SG, Raiford JL. STOP SV: A Technical Package to Prevent Sexual Violence. 2016. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hussey JM, Chang JJ, Kotch JB. Child maltreatment in the United States: Prevalence, risk factors, and adolescent health consequences. Pediatrics. 2006; 118(3): 933-942. Reed D, Reno J, Green D. Sexual violence among youth in New Mexico: risk and resiliency factors that impact behavioral health outcomes. Fam Community Health. 2016; 39(2): 92-102. Bachman R. Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault: Successive Approximations to Consensus. 2012; National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. Young BR, Desmarais SL, Baldwin JA, Chandler R. Sexual Coercion Practices Among Undergraduate Male Recreational Athletes, Intercollegiate Athletes, and Non-Athletes. Violence Against Women. 2016; 1077801216651339. Nation M, Crusto C, Wandersman A, Kumpfer KL, Seybolt D, Morrissey-Kane E, Davino K. What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. Am Psychol. 2013; 58(6-7): 449.

More Resources and Links

Evidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:

Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Page Content Updated On 03/02/2017, Published on 03/02/2017
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 03 June 2020 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 17:14:11 MST