This study explored factors associated with a lifetime history of domestic violence and sexual assault victimization in a sample of welfare recipients in the State of Illinois.
The results of the study revealed several similarities and differences between factors related to domestic violence and sexual assault. The one overwhelming similarity is that childhood exposure to domestic violence is a significant risk factor for both sexual assault and domestic violence victimization. Being physically abused as a child was associated with lifetime domestic violence, but not lifetime sexual assault. For domestic violence victimization, the finding was that increased education and job skills were risk factors that supported the theory that domestic violence occurred when men perceived that their partner had more power in their relationship. Surprisingly, frequent alcohol and drug use were not associated with either type of victimization. Research suggests that drug and alcohol use can be both a risk factor and a consequence of victimization, as survivors self-medicate to manage their pain associated with victimization. Although many studies have been conducted exploring factors related to sexual assault and domestic violence victimization, it has remained unclear whether domestic violence and sexual assault share a common set of factors. Through the use of parallel logistic regression equations, this study sought to predict lifetime experience of sexual assault and domestic violence among a low-income sample of welfare recipients in Illinois. Tables, references
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