SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

In previous research, the lifetime prevalence of sexual assault among U.S. women ranges from less than 15% to more than 50%. Much of this variability is due to methodological differences across studies, but some of the inconsistency may be substantively meaningful, reflecting the effects of social context on the risk of sexual assault. This paper provides a profile of sexual assault victims from a representative sample of urban and rural southern women. The profile includes information about the prevalence and characteristics of sexual assault, demographic correlates, self-reported effects of sexual assault, and sources of help seeking. This profile is compared with results from a representative, urban, and ethnically diverse sample of sexual assault victims in Los Angeles. Differences across and within the samples highlight the effects of social context on the risk, correlates, and consequences of sexual assault.