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NCJ Number: 94464 Find in a Library
Title: Teenage Victims of Sexual Assault - Who Is at Risk and What Are the Effects
Journal: New Designs for Youth Development  Volume:4  Issue:6  Dated:(November/December 1983)  Pages:13-18
Author(s): S S Ageton
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a profile of the teenaged sexual assault victim, her assaulter, and the long-term effects of the event.
Abstract: The data come from the final 3 years of a 5-year study of 1,725 teenagers. Each youth who reported a sexual assault also answered a detailed set of questions about the experience. Race, social class, and residence did not appear to be central factors affecting the risk of sexual assault. The amount of disruption and instability in the family did appear to influence vulnerability. Victims had a higher rate of exposure to delinquent peers and reported more peer pressure for drinking and drug use than did the controls. The victims themselves were involved in a wider variety of delinquent acts. It is reasonable to conclude that most adolescent victims do not report their sexual assault experiences to the police because they occur with persons they know and therefore the victim has doubt about the legitimacy of the complaint. If the assault is not violent or if it is incomplete, there is also doubt about its legitimacy as an assault. Contemporary teenagers expect and receive a fair amount of pressure for sex in dating situations. Over three-quarters did not report the incident to their parents, while more than two-thirds confided in friends. When the perpetrator was the victim's partner, the relationship was likely to end. In general, romantic partners not responsible for the assault expressed support and concern for the victim. Recovery fell into two patterns: first, the victim's fearful, angry, and guilty emotions declined steadily over a 2-year period; second, the decline was followed by a rise in these emotional reactions after 2 to 3 years. Nine footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Juveniles; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Victim-offender relationships
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