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Victim-Offender Relationship and Sexual Assault

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The effect of the victim-offender sexual assault relationship on women's psychological symptomatology was examined in a randomized community survey. Fourteen and one-half percent of women (N = 240) experienced a sexual assault in adulthood. Assaults committed by strangers, acquaintances, and intimates were compared using both chi-square and two-way analyses of variance. Few differences were found in sexual assault experiences according to the victim-offender relationship. Offender use of violence showed a curvilinear relationship with degree of closeness of the victim-offender relationship, whereas victim resistance did not vary according to the victim-offender relationship. Analyses of psychological symptom measures showed that sexual distress was more common for women attacked by intimates, fear/anxiety was more common for women assaulted by strangers, and depression did not vary according to the victim-offender relationship.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 2: School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles

Publication date: January 1, 1993

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