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Keywords:

  • self-protection;
  • victim resistance;
  • injury

This study assessed the impact of sixteen types of victim self protection (SP) actions on three types of outcomes of criminal incidents: first, whether the incident resulted in property loss, second, whether it resulted in injury to the victim, and, third, whether it resulted in serious injury. Data on 27, 595 personal contact crime incidents recorded in the National Crime Victimization Survey for the 1992 to 2001 decade were used to estimate multivariate models of crime outcomes with logistic regression. Results indicated that self-protection in general, both forceful and nonforceful, reduced the likelihood of property loss and injury, compared to nonresistance. A variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury, though some of the findings were unstable due to the small numbers of sample cases. The appearance, in past research, of resistance contributing to injury was found to be largely attributable to confusion concerning the sequence of SP actions and injury. In crimes where both occurred, injury followed SP in only 10 percent of the incidents. Combined with the fact that injuries following resistance are almost always relatively minor, victim resistance appears to be generally a wise course of action.