ERIC Number: ED393041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug-15
Victimization Status and Perceived Risk of Sexual Assault: Longitudinal Analyses.
White, Jacquelyn W.; Humphrey, John A.
Even though rape is the crime they fear most, women hold strong beliefs that their personal risk for sexual victimization is lower than the risk for other women. Victimization shatters illusions of invulnerability, and results in feelings of vulnerability, suggesting that sexual victimization should decrease women's perceived invulnerability for future sexual victimization. This study discusses these relationships in the context of a longitudinal study, in which 395 women provided data on the impact of sexual victimization (attempted or completed rape) on changes across one year in the perceived likelihood of experiencing a sexual assault. Analyses reveal a lower perceived likelihood of assault by a stranger was greater than by an acquaintance, but at time two, the relationship was reversed. Furthermore, at time one there were no differences in the two groups' reported likelihood of either experiencing future nonsexual crimes/accidents or encountering health problems, but at time two, women who had been sexually victimized showed a significant increase in their reported likelihood of both types of misfortunes. These results held even when controlling for victimization experiences occurring prior to the first assessment. Finally, not only did victimization change perceptions of risk, but also changed various aspects of victims' interpersonal behavior and mental health. Contains seven graphs and tables. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).