Examination of Situational Characteristics, Resistance Strategies, and Sexual Assault Outcomes: Results From a National-Level Study

Bonnie Fisher, University of Cincinnati
Leah E. Daigle, University of North Texas
Shannon A. Santana, University of Cincinnati
Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati

Given the seriousness of violence against women and its attending negative consequences, researchers have attempted to identify ways in which women can minimize the risk of assault completion and physical injury. Within this broader investigation, specific attention has been given to the efficacy of resistance strategies used by women during a sexual victimization. Although research has shown that resistance strategies are often used by victims of rape, it is less clear to what extent women who are victims of other forms of sexual victimization use self-protective measures. Also uncertain is the nature of the relationship between different types of resistance and the outcome of the sexual victimization incident. Using data from a national-level study of 4,446 female college students, we investigate these issues. We further explore the resistance-outcome nexus by examining individual factors and contextual characteristics that may influence the use and outcome of resistance strategies. The policy implications of our findings as well as directions for future research are also discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006