Psychological consequences of sexual victimization resulting from force, incapacitation, or verbal coercion

Violence Against Women. 2009 Aug;15(8):898-919. doi: 10.1177/1077801209335491. Epub 2009 Jun 5.


Recently, incapacitated rape has emerged as a distinct type of sexual victimization. However, little is known about its longer-term psychological consequences. Two studies compare the psychological consequences of incapacitated rape to those of forcible rape and verbal coercion. Generally, the traumatic impact of incapacitated rape was intermediate to that of verbal coercion and forcible rape; however, there were domains (e.g., current perceived trauma and emotional impact) in which incapacitated and forcible rape had a similar impact and other domains (e.g., attributions of responsibility) in which incapacitated rape was similar to verbal coercion. This research suggests that sexual assault researchers might benefit from separately examining forcible and incapacitated rape.

MeSH terms

  • Coercion*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Women's Health