Disclosure of date/acquaintance rape: who reports and when

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2005 Feb;18(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2004.11.006.


Objective: To estimates rates and correlates of disclosure of date/acquaintance rape or attempted rape and verbally coercive sex among a diverse sample of adolescent and young adult females.

Design: Secondary data analysis of cross sectional data.

Setting: Urban adolescent healthcare facility.

Participants: Adolescents who were identified as having experienced rape/attempted rape (n = 86) or verbally coerced sex (n = 68) in the last 12 months from study examining sexual violence.

Main outcome measures: Disclosure of forced sex (logistic regression) and the timing of disclosure (survival analysis).

Interventions: None.

Results: Almost 60% of victims who experienced rape/attempted rape disclosed this information to one or more individuals, whereas only 47% of those who experienced verbally coerced sex told another person. Multivariate analyses found that drinking by the partner (AOR = 4.6) and shorter dating history (AOR = 6.3) were associated with disclosure of rape/attempted rape; timing of this disclosure was facilitated by Caucasian ethnicity (RR = 3.5), having a dating partner who drank > or = 1 drinks (RR = 2.5), and the perpetrator being someone other than the victim's boyfriend or partner (RR = 2.5). With regards to verbally coerced sex, reporting no pressure to use alcohol (AOR = 10.7) was the only factor associated with disclosure. No significant predictors of timing to disclosure were detected for this type of victimization.

Conclusions: Perpetrator's alcohol use and a shorter dating history are important variables associated with disclosure of rape/attempted rape as well as timing to disclosure. Factors affecting the disclosure of verbally coerced sex and the latency associated with disclosure are less well defined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Coercion
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult