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Journal Article


Donde SD. J. Interpers. Violence 2017; 32(22): 3520-3538.


The University of Texas at Austin, USA


(Copyright © 2017, SAGE Publishing)






Little research has examined the factors that help to explain or predict different attributions of blame that rape survivors assign to their assault experiences. The current study sought to examine (a) rape survivors' attributions of blame to themselves and to external sources, specifically the perpetrator, the circumstances surrounding the assault (i.e., the situation), and society; (b) whether or not rape survivors attribute more blame to certain sources than others; and (c) which individual and situational factors that have been discussed in the sexual assault research literature help to explain self-blame, perpetrator blame, situational blame, and societal blame within a college sample (N = 129).

RESULTS indicated that rape survivors attributed the most blame to themselves and to society, some blame to the situation, and the least blame to the male involved. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, for the most part, variables specific to the rape survivor (e.g., history of childhood sexual abuse, clarity of refusing sex, and perceived level of intoxication) significantly related to self-blame, whereas variables specific to assault severity significantly related to perpetrator blame (e.g., level of physical harm, type of rape, and recency of the assault), although in some unexpected ways. Age and recency of the assault were significantly related to situational blame. Clarity of refusing sex was the only variable that was significantly related to societal blame. Implications are discussed for prevention, education, and practice.

Language: en


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