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Violence against women in America is pervasive and real

The controversy over Rolling Stone's University of Virginia gang rape story — and the discrepancies in its reporting of the alleged sexual assault — has touched off a new controversy. At a moment when one woman's story of violence is in question, it's especially important to remember: violence against women in America is both pervasive and very, very real.

The Violence Against Women Act, a law attempting to reduce intimate partner violence both through judicial means and social interventions, turned 20 this year. The country has made progress since 1994; rates of sexual assault have fallen significantly over the past two decades.

But the issue hasn't gone away for women in the US. Nearly one in five women — 19.3 percent — are raped in their lifetime. Here is where we are in 2014.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need help, consider contacting The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

All data sources can be found here.

Direction: Joe Posner | Music: "Break me" written and performed by Sharon Van Etten. Courtesy Jagjaguwar and Big Deal Music | Skin: Cristina Cerullo, Arielle Duhaime-Ross, Joss Fong, Samantha Mason, Amy Piller, Adrianne Jeffries, Lauren Rabaino, Zenae Zukowski | Camera: McGraw Wolfman and Joe Posner | Research: Sarah Kliff | Thank you: Eden Rohatensky, Zeke Hutchins, Jon Natchez, Sharon Van Etten

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