What the Research Shows…

Risk Factors for Sexual Assault U.S. Department of Justice Study (2007)

Dana Guest, Journalism II

One of the strongest risk factors for sexual assault in college is a history of prior victimization, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Adolescent women who were victims of a completed or attempted rape were twice as likely to experience a second assault during college. Adding to the risk, women who had previously been sexually victimized by a dating partner were significantly more likely to be sexually victimized in college. Some reasons for the additional risk of a second assault include low self-esteem, depression, and poor psychological adjustment. Another explanation for the greater risk is many victims of sexual abuse turn to alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with the psychological distress of a sexual assault. Alcohol consumption and drug use by the victim contributes heavily to the chances of being sexually assaulted. Substance abuse is also shown to influence the severity of the sexual victimization. Freshmen and sophomore women are at a greater risk for sexual assault. Approximately 84 percent who reported sexual assault experienced the incident during their first four semesters of college.

Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault U.S. Department of Justice Study (2007)

Danielle Cohen, Journalism II

Less than 5 percent of completed and/or attempted rape cases were reported to law enforcement officials in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) study in 2003. Victims have a number of different reasons for not reporting the rape. In 42 percent of the incidents, victims did not report it because they were unsure that a crime occurred. In 30 percent of the incidents, victims believed the police would not think the incident was serious enough. Other reasons in one study (2000) included:

Leave a Reply

Back To Top