Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Revictimization


Address correspondence to Catalina Arata, Department of Psychology, Life Science Building 368, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688. E-mail:


Research identifying rates and effects of adult/adolescent sexual revictimization among child sexual abuse victims was reviewed. Approximately one-third of child sexual abuse victims report experiencing repeated victimization. Child sexual abuse victims have a 2 to 3 times greater risk of adult revictimization than women without a history of child sexual abuse. Physical contact in abuse and revictimization in adolescence were found to lead to the greatest risk of revictimization. Repeated victims had more symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and dissociation than women with a history of child sexual abuse alone. Theories of revictimization and mediating variables were also reviewed. Clearer definitions of repeated victimization are needed and future research should include studies that follow child sexual abuse victims prospectively.