Rape in Brazil and relationships with alcohol consumption: estimates based on confidential self-reports

This study presents the rape prevalence and its relationship with alcohol consumption based on the analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2012 Second National Alcohol and Drugs Survey, which used a cluster-stratified probabilistic sample of the Brazilian population. We included 1,918 men and 2,365 women, for a total sample of 4,283 individuals. Our results estimate the over-lifetime rape prevalence at 2.6% for the entire population, 1.7% for men and 3.5% for women. For both sexes, the highest prevalences were concentrated among those aged between 26 and 59 years (3.3%), those with low educational levels (3.8%), and those who were single, divorced or widowed (3.1%). Among individuals who were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), 6% reported having been raped, as did 3.3% of those who reported binge drinking. Logistical and multivariate regression analyses showed that, for both women and men, age (those between 26 and 59 years), marital status (single), alcohol use disorder and binge drinking are factors associated with an increased probability of being raped, whereas a higher educational level (more than 9 years of schooling) was shown to be capable of reducing the odds of being raped. Awareness of prevalences and of victims’ sociodemographic profiles is necessary in order to identify the scope of this public health problem as well as to evaluate the urgency of implementing preventative and supportive measures.