Factors Predicting the Type of Tactics Used to Resist Sexual Assault: A Prospective Study of College Women

  • Turchik J
  • Probst D
  • Chau M
 et al. 
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Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine how women's intentions, as well as psychological and situational factors, predicted the actual use of resistance tactics in response to a sexual assault situation over a 2-month follow-up period. Twenty-eight percent of the 378 undergraduate women who participated at the baseline assessment and returned for the follow-up session 8 weeks later were victimized over the interim period. The results suggested that women's reported use of verbally assertive tactics was predicted by the intention to use verbally assertive tactics, concern about injury, greater confidence, and feelings of being isolated or controlled by the perpetrator. The use of physically assertive tactics was predicted by increased severity of the attack, greater confidence, and feelings of being isolated or controlled by the perpetrator. The use of nonforceful tactics was predicted by intentions to use nonforceful tactics, increased self-consciousness, knowing the perpetrator prior to the assault, fears of losing the relationship with the perpetrator, and no history of childhood sexual victimization. These findings have important implications in sexual assault risk-reduction programming.

Author-supplied keywords

  • resistance strategies
  • sexual assault
  • victimization
  • violence
  • women

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Authors

  • Jessica A. Turchik

  • Danielle R. Probst

  • Minna Chau

  • Amy Nigoff

  • Christine A. Gidycz

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