The extensive sexual violation and sexual abuse histories of incarcerated women

Violence Against Women. 2008 Oct;14(10):1090-127. doi: 10.1177/1077801208323160. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


A growing body of research reports on the lifetime prevalence of sexual victimization experiences among incarcerated women. However, none of this research provides a detailed account of the many types and levels of sexual violations and sexual abuses, the age of occurrence, and the victim-offender relationship. This study used the Sexual Abuse Checklist (designed by the first author) and a modified version of the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) to obtain a detailed account of 391 incarcerated women's self-reported sexual violation and abuse histories. Seventy percent of the women reported at least one violation consistent with what qualifies as "rape" in most states in the United States today, and half of the women reported child sexual abuse victimization. The most prevalent victim-offender relationships were male strangers, male lovers or boyfriends, male dates, husbands, uncles, brothers, male cousins, and stepfathers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prisons
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Truth Disclosure
  • United States
  • Women's Health*