Rape and physical violence: Comparison of assault characteristics in older and younger adults in the national women's study

Authors

  • Ron Acierno,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    • Department of Psychiatry, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29425-0742
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  • Matt Gray,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Connie Best,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Heidi Resnick,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Dean Kilpatrick,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Ben Saunders,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Kristine Brady

    1. California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, California
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Abstract

This study compared characteristics of recently occurring assaults against younger adults (age 18–34 years) with those of distant-past assaults against older adults (age 55–89 years) when they were younger. Responses of a subset of participants in the National Women's Study were the source of data for this study. With the exception of perceived life threat during assault (more prevalent in younger women), assault characteristics did not vary greatly by age in terms of proportions reporting that they had seen the perpetrator before; the event was one in a series; they or the perpetrator were under the influence of a substance; they actually experienced injury; and they reported the assault to authorities. Consistent with previous research, younger women reported greater prevalences of assault than older women.

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