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NCJ Number: 212824 Find in a Library
Title: Reporting Sexual Assault: A Social Ecology Perspective
Author(s): Kim S. Menard
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 223
Sponsoring Agency: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
El Paso, TX 79913
Publication Number: ISBN 1-59332-126-0
Sale Source: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
Box 221258
El Paso, TX 79913
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research used a social ecology design to examine the effects of individual-level and contextual-level factors on sexual assault victims' decision to report their assault to the police.
Abstract: The research found that both individual-level and county factors influenced sexual assault victims' decision to contact the police. At the individual level, the severity of the assault, offender characteristics, and the victim's interaction with the offender determined whether or not the victim reported the assault to police. Victims were more likely to contact the police when the assault was severe or was committed by a stranger. Even in the case of severe assaults, however, when the offenders were known to victims, the victims were unlikely to contact police. At the county level, population density, population heterogeneity, poverty, and proportion of males ages 15 to 24 reduced the odds that sexual assault victims would contact the police. A culture of gender equality and the presence of victim services in a county increased the chances that sexual assault victims would report their assaults to the police. These findings were obtained from two studies. One study surveyed college students in order to identify social norms regarding the labeling of and the advice prevalent about reporting criminal victimizations to police. The focus was on whether the nature of the victim-offender relationships and the location of the offense (rural versus urban) affected the labeling of and the advice to report the offense to the police. The second study examined the combined effects of individual-level and contextual-level factors on sexual assault victims' decision to contact the police. The study used victimization data collected by 48 rape crisis centers in Pennsylvania. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to examine victims' decisions to contact the police. 33 tables, 4 figures, 260 references, appended survey instruments, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Cultural influences; Demography; Social conditions; Victim-offender relationships
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