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J Interpers Violence. 2016 Sep;31(14):2475-91. doi: 10.1177/0886260515576968. Epub 2015 Apr 5.

Understanding Disparities in Service Seeking Following Forcible Versus Drug- or Alcohol-Facilitated/Incapacitated Rape.

Author information

1
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
2
Clemson University, SC, USA.
3
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, USA.
4
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
5
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA resnickh@musc.edu.

Abstract

Victims of drug- or alcohol-facilitated/incapacitated rape (DAFR/IR) are substantially less likely to seek medical, rape crisis, or police services compared with victims of forcible rape (FR); however, reasons for these disparities are poorly understood. The current study examined explanatory mechanisms in the pathway from rape type (FR vs. DAFR/IR) to disparities in post-rape service seeking (medical, rape crisis, criminal justice). Participants were 445 adult women from a nationally representative household probability sample who had experienced FR, DAFR/IR, or both since age 14. Personal characteristics (age, race, income, prior rape history), rape characteristics (fear, injury, loss of consciousness), and post-rape acknowledgment, medical concerns, and service seeking were collected. An indirect effects model using bootstrapped standard errors was estimated to examine pathways from rape type to service seeking. DAFR/IR-only victims were less likely to seek services compared with FR victims despite similar post-rape medical concerns. FR victims were more likely to report fear during the rape and a prior rape history, and to acknowledge the incident as rape; each of these characteristics was positively associated with service seeking. However, only prior rape history and acknowledgment served as indirect paths to service seeking; acknowledgment was the strongest predictor of service seeking. Diminished acknowledgment of the incident as rape may be especially important to explaining why DAFR/IR victims are less likely than FR victims to seek services. Public service campaigns designed to increase awareness of rape definitions, particularly around DAFR/IR, are important to reducing disparities in rape-related service seeking.

KEYWORDS:

alcohol and drugs; sexual assault; support seeking

PMID:
25846758
PMCID:
PMC4593716
DOI:
10.1177/0886260515576968
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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