We investigate the possibility that the degree to which female abuse victims are held accountable by other women who have been exposed to sexually violent mass media is primarily dependent upon 3 factors: situational relevance, personal similarity, and emotional arousal. Female subjects participated in an experiment. Factors were: film dose; film viewing/victim judgment time interval; victim-subject similarity; and situational relevance of the assault. The results showed less attribution of responsibility to similar victims and high attributions of responsibility to dissimilar victims in the personally relevant assault situation (rape). Women identified least with dissimilar rape victims and most with similar victims when they had not been desensitized. When subjects were desensitized, the defensive attribution effect failed to emerge. There was also a significant tendency among low film dose subjects to perceive more psychological injury and to attribute more distress to the victim than among high film dose subjects.