Resisting rape: the effects of victim self-protection on rape completion and injury

Violence Against Women. 2014 Mar;20(3):270-92. doi: 10.1177/1077801214526050. Epub 2014 Mar 30.


The impact of victim resistance on rape completion and injury was examined utilizing a large probability sample of sexual assault incidents, derived from the National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-2002), and taking into account whether harm to the victim followed or preceded self-protection (SP) actions. Additional injuries besides rape, particularly serious injuries, following victim resistance are rare. Results indicate that most SP actions, both forceful and nonforceful, reduce the risk of rape completion, and do not significantly affect the risk of additional injury.

Keywords: rape; self-defense; violence.

MeSH terms

  • Assertiveness*
  • Crime Victims
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Rape / prevention & control*
  • Risk
  • Safety*
  • Sex Offenses / prevention & control
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Women's Health*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology