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Does Encouragement by Others Increase Rape Reporting? Findings From a National Sample of Women

NCJ Number
Psychology of Women Quarterly Volume: 38 Issue: 2 Dated: 2014 Pages: 222-232
Date Published
11 pages
This study explored the role of rape victims' consultation with others about whether or not to report their rape to police.

The study found that consulting with others about whether to report the rape, peri-traumatic fear of injury or death, assault perpetration by a stranger, and concerns about contracting a sexually transmitted disease were significant predictors of reporting to police after controlling for other significant predictors in a multivariate regression analysis. Three groups were observed within a sample of 435 rape victims from a national telephone household probability sample of women. They were composed of those who did not consult with anyone about reporting (n = 364), those who consulted with someone and were encouraged to report to police (n = 40), and those who consulted with someone and were not encouraged to report (n = 31). Descriptive analyses indicated that those victims encouraged to report the rape were more likely to report to police than either of the other two groups (which did not differ from each other). Because there were no differences between the two consulting groups on demographic or rape-related variables, they were combined in subsequent analyses. Implications of these findings are discussed, including the benefits and consequences of formal rape reporting for victims, and the role that disclosure recipients may have in assisting victims after the rape (e.g., encouragement of reporting, emotional support). (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2014