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Impaired and Incapacitated Rape Victims: Assault Characteristics and Post-Assault Experiences

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Alcohol is the most common "rape drug," with up to two-thirds of victims consuming alcohol prior to the assault. Surprisingly, little research has examined the assault and postassault experiences of victims who were impaired or incapacitated as a result of substance use, including alcohol, during a rape. Thus, the current study evaluated the assault and postassault experiences of a sample of 340 nonimpaired, impaired, and incapacitated college rape victims. Results supported that these three groups differed in several assault characteristics, including threats by the assailant, resistance by the victim, and relationship with the assailant. In addition, impairment and incapacitation were associated with several postassault factors, including self-blame, stigma, and problematic alcohol use. Results also highlighted similarities in victims' experiences, including levels of postassault distress. Implications of the findings for future research investigating impaired and incapacitated sexual assault victims are discussed.
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Keywords: ALCOHOL USE; SELF-BLAME; SEXUAL ASSAULT; STIGMA; SUBSTANCE USE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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