Title

In Their Own Words: A Content-Analytic Study of College Women’s Resistance to Sexual Assault

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to utilize a mixed methodological approach to better understand the co-occurrence of perpetrator tactics and women’s resistance strategies during a sexual assault and women’s reflections on these experiences. College women were recruited from introductory psychology courses and completed both forced-choice response and open-ended survey questions for course credit. Content-analytic results of college women’s written responses to an open-ended question suggested that women’s resistance strategies generally mirrored the tactics of the perpetrator (e.g., women responded to perpetrator verbal pressure with verbal resistance). However, there were some instances in which this was not the case. Furthermore, a number of women expressed a degree of self-blame for the sexual assault in their responses, as well as minimization and normalization of the experience. These findings suggest that sexual assault risk reduction programs need to directly address victims’ self-blame as well as create an atmosphere where societal factors that lead to minimization can be addressed.

Publication Date

9-2014

Journal Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Publisher

Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0886260513520470

Document Type

Article