Prediction of women’s utilization of resistance strategies in a sexual assault situation: A prospective study

Christine A. Gidycz, Ohio University - Main Campus
Amy Van Wynsberghe, Clover Bottom Developmental Center
Katie Edwards, University of New Hampshire - Main Campus


The present study prospectively explored the predictors of resistance strategies to a sexual assault situation. Participants were assessed at the beginning of an academic quarter on a number of variables, including past history of sexual victimization, perceived risk of sexual victimization, and intentions to use specific types of resistance strategies. Only women who reported being victimized over the interim ( N = 68) were included in the analyses, which suggested that women's Time 1 intentions to utilize assertive resistance strategies (e.g., physically fight, run away) and offender aggression predicted women's use of assertive resistance strategies in response to the assault that occurred over the follow-up. Women's utilization of nonforceful verbal resistance (e.g., reason, plead, quarrel) was predicted by perpetrator aggression and previous sexual victimization. Women's immobility (e.g., turn cold, freeze) during the assault that took place over the interim was predicted by experiences of childhood sexual victimization and previous sexual victimization.