skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 165349 Find in a Library
Title: Escape as a Response to Childhood Sexual Abuse
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(1996)  Pages:77-93
Author(s): Y Darlington
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: As part of a qualitative study of 10 adult women's experience of having been sexually abused in childhood, research participants recalled their responses as children to sexual abuse.
Abstract: Myriad attempts to escape were reported. These encompassed both physical action and mental processes. Those who were able to escape physically did so either by running away, keeping busy, or dressing protectively. Others engaged in mental processes that included pretending the sexual abuse was not happening, daydreaming, isolation of affect, dissociation, and partial or complete repression of memory of the abuse. Researchers conceptualized these responses as falling along a continuum from conscious and voluntary to unconscious and involuntary. Despite this complex array of attempts to escape from sexual abuse, most of the research participants continued to blame themselves for the abuse. The author suggests that an understanding of the complexity and diversity of escape as a response to sexual abuse could assist sexually abused children and adult survivors of sexual abuse in more readily accepting their lack of culpability for the abuse. 1 table and 24 references
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Psychological victimization effects; Self defense
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.