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NCJ Number: 202353 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Acknowledging Sexual Victimization as Rape: Results From a National-Level Study
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:20  Issue:3  Dated:September 2003  Pages:535-574
Author(s): Bonnie S. Fisher; Leah E. Daigle; Francis T. Cullen; Michael G. Turner
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 95-WT-VX-0001
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses how women acknowledge sexual victimization as rape.
Abstract: Previous studies have argued that estimates of victimization are exaggerated because the victims of rape did not think that they had been raped. This study examined rape acknowledgment issues by using data collected on a national-level sample of college women; assessed whether women defined as a rape a sexual victimization incident not categorized as a rape; and examining data on the individual characteristics of both the respondent and the perpetrator and detailed situational characteristics about each incident of sexual victimization. The results were from a larger project, the National College Women Sexual Victimization Study. The survey was administered to a national sample of 4,446 female college students during spring 1997. The response rate was 85.6 percent. A two-stage measurement process was used. In the first stage, each respondent was asked a series of behaviorally specific screen questions that described sexual victimization conduct that ranged from completed rape to threatened sexual contact. The incident report was the second stage and asked detailed questions about the context in which the incident happened; the reporting behavior of each incident; and the characteristics of the victim, offender, and victimization. The results show that the acknowledgment of rape is a real problem, not a methodological artifact. Over half the women in the sample that were raped did not acknowledge this event as a rape. It appears that many college women that are raped are not fully aware that their victimization is not simply a sexual assault or a “mistake” but a potentially serious criminal offense. The characteristics of incidents that were considered rape included the offender’s use of physical force, the offender’s threat of using physical force, completed penetration, the sustaining of an injury, the presence of a weapon, and the victim’s use of forceful verbal resistance. The passage of time appeared to play a role in predicting when women considered an incident a rape. 4 tables, 15 footnotes, 30 references, 2 appendices
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims; Victim attitudes
Index Term(s): Personal crime victims; Rape; Rape statistics; Sexual assault statistics; Victim reactions to crime; Victims of Crime
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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