The Prevalence of Sexual Revictimization: A Meta-Analytic Review

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2019 Jan;20(1):67-80. doi: 10.1177/1524838017692364. Epub 2017 Feb 8.


The literature consistently demonstrates evidence that child sexual abuse survivors are at greater risk of victimization later in life than the general population. This phenomenon is called sexual revictimization. Although this finding is robust, there is a large amount of variability in the prevalence rates of revictimization demonstrated in the literature. The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to calculate an average prevalence rate of revictimization across the literature and to examine moderators that may potentially account for the observed variability. Based on a review of PsycINFO and PILOTS, 1,412 articles were identified and reviewed for inclusion. This process resulted in the inclusion of 80 studies, which contained 12,252 survivors of child sexual abuse. The mean prevalence of sexual revictimization across studies was 47.9% (95% confidence intervals [43.6%, 52.3%]), suggesting that almost half of child sexual abuse survivors are sexually victimized in the future. The present study failed to find support for any of the examined moderators. Potential explanations of and implications for the results are offered, including suggestions for therapists.

Keywords: child sexual abuse; meta-analysis; rape; revictimization; sexual assault.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rape / psychology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Young Adult