Predictors of Victim–Perpetrator Relationship Stability Following a Sexual Assault: A Brief Report


The researchers assessed the predictors of victim–perpetrator relationship stability following a sexual assault. Participants included 254 women sexually assaulted by a friend, casual dating partner, or steady dating partner. Results suggested that most victim–perpetrator relationships (75%) continued following the sexual assault. Greater trauma symptomatology, less perpetrator blame, and nondisclosure of the assault by victims predicted relationship continuation with the perpetrator. Additionally, the odds of continuing the relationship were greater following acts of sexual coercion than following acts of completed rape. Close relationships (steady dating partner) were more likely to continue following the sexual assault than less close relationships (friends and casual dating partners). Unexpectedly, the odds of relationship stability were greater for women without histories of childhood sexual abuse than women with histories of childhood sexual abuse. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.

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Violence and Victims



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