Heterogeneity within multiple perpetrator rapes: a national comparison of lone, duo, and 3+ perpetrator rapes

Sex Abuse. 2014 Dec;26(6):503-22. doi: 10.1177/1079063213497805. Epub 2013 Sep 3.


The effect of number of perpetrators involved in multiple perpetrator rapes on offense characteristics is underresearched despite beliefs that duos/dyads differ in their interactions and dynamics to groups of 3+ members. We analyzed a national sample of 336 allegations of completed and attempted rape of female victims from the United Kingdom. Rapes committed by multiple (duos and groups of 3+ perpetrators) and lone offenders were compared on offense characteristics (incorporating the approach, maintenance, and closure phases of each rape) and victim and offender sociodemographic characteristics. Significant differences between rapes committed by lone, duo, and 3+ group offenders were found for the age and ethnicity of the offenders; the type of approach used; the locations of the initial contact, assault, and release of the victims; the use of a vehicle; the precautions utilized; the verbal themes present; and the sex acts performed. These results have implications for educational prevention programs and interventions with offenders.

Keywords: duos; dyads; gang rape; group rape; multiple perpetrator rape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration
  • Rape / prevention & control
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Perception
  • Social Support*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult