Article

Resisting Crime: The Effects of Victim Action on the Outcomes of Crimes

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Abstract

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.

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... Research regarding the use of self-protective behaviors in incidents of violent victimization has focused predominately on the outcomes (e.g., rape completion) in incidents of sexual assault against women. Much less attention has been given to the use of self-protective behaviors in non-sexual assaults (Bachman and Carmody, 1994;Bachman et al., 2002;Block and Skogan, 1984;Lizotte, 1986;Skogan and Block, 1983;Tark and Kleck, 2004;Thompson et al., 1999). Likewise, the body of research examining victim behavior in incidents of violence has also focused on sexual assault. ...
... The application of a rational choice framework to understand selfprotective behaviors is not unique to this study. As Guerette and Santana (2010) and Tark and Kleck (2004) note in their studies of the consequences of utilizing self-protective behaviors, compared to the decisions of offenders and the situational characteristics of the incident, self-protective behaviors operate on the same tenets of Routine Activities Theory (RAT). ...
... In addition to the environment in which the incident takes place, other situational characteristics may impact the probability of utilizing countermeasures. Tark and Kleck (2004) suggest that victims use the least forceful types of self-protective behaviors when responding to offenders with guns because the only other viable option would be to respond with extreme violence. Indeed, weapon use by the offender is consistently associated with less victim resistance, specifically forceful physical resistance, across all types of personal victimization (Block and Skogan, 1986;Burnett et al., 1985;Clay-Warner, 2003;McDermott, 1979). ...
... Why do robbers use physical force from the very start or subsequently when the robbery is underway? Prior research suggests victim resistance is an important factor (Luckenbill 1980(Luckenbill , 1981Tark and Kleck 2004;Wright and Decker 1997). In this article, we emphasize that victim resistance comes in two forms. ...
... Such a response to robbery is rather common. For instance, an analysis of the U.S. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) indicates that about two-thirds of victims involved in personal contact crimes, which includes robbery, took defensive action, and a third of victims used forceful actions such as physically struggling with or shooting at the offender (Tark and Kleck 2004). ...
... However, some studies find that observed victim resistance decreases the odds of victim injury or, at worst, does not increase it (Block 1981;Kleck and DeLone 1993;Tark and Kleck 2004). Among this body of work, the most comprehensive study to date is Tark and Kleck (2004). ...
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Objectives Drawing on the rational choice perspective, this study aims at explaining why some robberies take place with physical force while others occur only with threat. The focus is how expected and observed victim resistance impact physical force by robbers. Methods We draw on quantitative and qualitative data obtained from 104 robbers who described 143 robbery events. Based on the coding of behavioral sequences between offenders and victims, we distinguish between the use of physical force at the onset from the use of physical force during the progression of the event. Results At the onset of robberies, physical force of offenders is influenced by whether they judge the victim to be street credible. During the progression of robberies, offenders are more likely to use physical force against a resistant than against a compliant victim. Conclusions At the onset of the robbery, offender violence is related to expected victim resistance; during the progression, it is related to observed victim resistance. Future research should focus on behavioral sequences within robbery events including the meaning of victim characteristics and victim behavior in different phases of the event.
... In Clay-Warner's (2002) analysis of National Crime Victimization Survey data, taking "self-protective action" reduced the likelihood of completed rape by 87%. Physical self-defense was especially effective, resulting in an 81% decrease in the likelihood of completed rape, across situations (see also Fisher et al., 2007;Guerette & Santana, 2010;Kleck & Sayles, 1990;Quinsey & Upfold, 1985;Tark & Kleck, 2004. In other words, although women have often been told to not resist an assault, resistance works. ...
... Second, in most cases, physical injury precedes resistance, rather than following it. In other words, women resist because they are being injured, rather than being injured because they resist (Guerette & Santana, 2010;Quinsey & Upfold, 1985;Tark & Kleck, 2004Ullman, 1998;Ullman & Knight, 1991, 1992. Tark and Kleck (2004) state decisively that resistance is therefore generally the best path of action unless there are specific signs to the contrary. ...
... In other words, women resist because they are being injured, rather than being injured because they resist (Guerette & Santana, 2010;Quinsey & Upfold, 1985;Tark & Kleck, 2004Ullman, 1998;Ullman & Knight, 1991, 1992. Tark and Kleck (2004) state decisively that resistance is therefore generally the best path of action unless there are specific signs to the contrary. ...
... Studies document an increased probability of sustaining injuries when victims physically resist offenders (Bachman & Carmody, 1994;Bachman et al., 2004). In other words, if the elderly and very young are less likely to resist attackers relative to other age groups, they may also be less likely to sustain injuries as a result, as some studies have found for the elderly (Schnebly, 2002;Tark & Kleck, 2004). Similarly, research on sexual offenses suggests that children may be less likely to resist an offender because they are easier to manipulate or control (Elsegood & Duff, 2010;Mancini, Reckdenwald, & Beauregard, 2012), thus reducing the likelihood of physical injury. ...
... Studies distinguishing between crimes occurring at "semipublic" places (e.g., stores and restaurants) and public places (e.g., alleys, streets, and fields) typically find a decreased risk of victim injury in these semipublic spaces compared to crimes occurring at public or private locations (Messner et al., 2004;Tillyer et al., 2011;Tillyer & Tillyer, 2014). Studies that distinguish between public and private locations demonstrate that victim injury is more likely when crimes occur at private residences (Kleck & DeLone, 1993;Tark & Kleck, 2004), although several studies have found no relationship between victim injury and location type (Brecklin & Ullman, 2001;D'Alessio & Stolzenberg, 2009;Martin & Bachman, 1998). ...
... Because of the lethality of firearms, victims may be more compliant with offenders wielding guns (Kleck & DeLone, 1993). Most research suggests that the presence of a firearm decreases the risk of victim injury, whereas the use of other weapons, such as knives and blunt objects, increases risk (Bachman & Carmody, 1994;Baumer et al., 2003;D'Alessio & Stolzenberg, 2009;Kleck & DeLone, 1993;Messner et al., 2004;Schnebly, 2002;Tark & Kleck, 2004;Tillyer & Tillyer, 2014). Because of the impairment caused by the use of alcohol and drugs, inebriated offenders might be prone to more serious violence (Brecklin & Ullman, 2001), including inflicting injury on their victims. ...
Article
This study explores the nature and outcome of violent incidents experienced by child, adolescent, adult, and elderly victims. Data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) are used to determine whether there are differences in the situational characteristics—including location, time of day, weapons, and the victim–offender relationship—of violent victimization experiences across the 4 age groups, including whether situational characteristics influence the likelihood of victim injury. Results indicate that victim injury is most prevalent among adult victims and that the situational characteristics of violent incidents vary by victim age, as do the correlates of victim injury. These findings suggest that of the nature of violent victimization should be examined within the context of victim age, and supports research by scholars who have proposed a model of developmental victimology to identify age-specific victimization patterns.
... If the assailant anticipates resistance and is cognizant of the victim's physical capabilities, he or she might initiate the attack with more force. Of course, both of these theories may be incorrect, and it could be that as Tark and Kleck (2004) suggest, there is little reason to expect that victim sex exerts a meaningful influence on the relationship between self-protective behaviors and completion or injury. Although sex itself is a predictor of injury, it may be that its influence is limited to a main effect rather than a moderating variable. ...
... Given the theoretical perspective taken by Felson (1996), assailants may perceive threats of physical force by males to be more credible. Tark and Kleck (2004) examine the separate impact of each indicator of self-protective behaviors in the National Crime Victimization Survey (n 5 16) and find that several strategies are associated with injury. Namely, they found that attacking the offender without a weapon, struggling, and stalling or pretending to cooperate are associated with a higher probability of being injured, whereas attempting to attract bystanders is associated with a decrease in the risk of injury. ...
... In other words, if a victim employs both physical and nonphysical behaviors, they are coded as forceful. Tark and Kleck (2004) take a much more nuanced approach to measuring self-protective behaviors and examine each strategy individually. ...
Article
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This study examines the consequences of using self-protective behaviors in nonsexual assaults. Particular attention is paid to how victim sex modifies conclusions regarding the effectiveness of countermeasures as completion or injury avoidance strategies. These relationships are tested using 16,309 incidents of nonsexual assaults from the National Crime Victimization Survey. Several outcomes of violent encounters (i.e., completion, injury, injury severity) are regressed on measures of self-protective behaviors through a sequence of logistic regressions. Interactions between victim sex and self-protective behavior are also estimated. Forceful physical strategies are associated with a greater probability of assault completion and injury. Conversely, nonforceful verbal strategies serve as protective factors for both completion and injury and nonforceful physical strategies are associated with a lower probability of injury. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the effectiveness of these countermeasures varies by the sex of the victim.
... However, victim resistance has also been shown to be statistically insignificant in predicting victim injury (Ullman, Karabatsos, and Koss, 1999;Quinsey and Upfold, 1985). Additionally, Tark and Kleck (2004) concluded that injury was unlikely to happen after a victim resisted a sexual assault, assault or robbery. Tark and Kleck (2004) clarified that "[t]his does not mean there is no risk to victim resistance, but the chances of resistance provoking offenders to inflict injury is low by any reasonable standard (2.8 percent of crimes with [self-protection]) and the risk of serious injury is close to zero (0.7 percent)" (p. ...
... Additionally, Tark and Kleck (2004) concluded that injury was unlikely to happen after a victim resisted a sexual assault, assault or robbery. Tark and Kleck (2004) clarified that "[t]his does not mean there is no risk to victim resistance, but the chances of resistance provoking offenders to inflict injury is low by any reasonable standard (2.8 percent of crimes with [self-protection]) and the risk of serious injury is close to zero (0.7 percent)" (p. 877). ...
... 877). Further complicating the issue, Ruback and Ivie (1988), Ullman and Knight (1991), Tark and Kleck (2004) and Quinsey and Upfold (1985) have commented that the temporal ordering of the victim's physical resistance and physical injury is unclear. It is possible that victim injury preceded the physical resistance by the victim or that the victim physically resisted the offender's initial verbal attack and he responded with violence. ...
Article
The use of violence in a rape offense is an important but neglected question. This study seeks to enumerate the variables that predict the use of moderate and severe violence in a rape offense within a population heterogeneity/state dependence framework. Population heterogeneity asserts that crime or violence is caused by an underlying propensity while state dependence argues that prior crime or violence can increase or decrease the likelihood of future crime. A mixed model asserts that time-stable traits predispose an individual towards a certain level of crime or violence and time-varying characteristics can amplify or diminish this underlying risk. A sample of 222 convicted rapists from the Massachusetts Treatment Center was assessed on developmental, relationship and job attributes. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was performed on three levels of the outcome: no violence, moderate violence or severe violence. The results support a mixed model. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.
... With respect to offenders, ambient lighting can potentially affect both the costs and rewards of committing a crime. The costs of crime are typically thought to be a function of the certainty and severity of punishment (Nagin 2013) but they also include the cost of locating appropriate victims and the risk that a crime victim will fight back, thus turning the tables on the offender (Tark and Kleck 2004). The rewards of crime include the value of any "loot" stolen during the commission of a property crime and may, for some offenders, also include psychological benefits of committing an act of violence. ...
... On the one hand, greater visibility might empower potential offenders by reducing their crime commission costs (Nagin 2013), better enabling them to locate more vulnerable victims or more lucrative criminal rewards (Welsh and Farrington 2008). Alternatively, better lighting may improve the actual or perceived ability of a potential victim to defend himself (Tark and Kleck 2004) or to identify the perpetrator of a crime and carry out an extra-judicial punishment at a later date. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This paper offers novel experimental evidence that violent crimes can be successfully reduced by changing the situational environment that potential victims and offenders face. We focus on a ubiquitous but understudied feature of the urban landscape—street lighting—and report the first experimental evidence on the effect of street lighting on crime. Methods Through a unique public partnership in New York City, temporary street lights were randomly allocated to 40 of the city’s public housing developments. Results We find evidence that communities that were assigned more lighting experienced sizable reductions in nighttime outdoor index crimes. We also observe a large decline in arrests indicating that deterrence is the most likely mechanism through which the intervention reduced crime. Conclusion Results suggests that street lighting, when deployed tactically, may be a means through which policymakers can control crime without widening the net of the criminal justice system.
... Little criminological theory explicitly articulates either the rationale or the role of victims' self-protective behavior in criminal acts. As is suggested by Tark and Kleck (2004), while theoretical guidance offers some rationale for self-protective behavior, only lifestyle/exposure (Hindelang, Gottfredson, and Garafalo 1978) theory articulates risk factors for criminal victimization as well as behaviors that may exacerbate or coincide with victimization (including self-protection). One can additionally infer both the impetus and the impact of victim's self-protective behavior on bullying from other foundations in criminological study. ...
... While the application of routine activity theory to victim behavior has certainly been suggested in other works (e.g. Tark andKleck 2004, Tewksbury andMustaine 2003), the proposed connection between the guardianship concept in routine activity theory and its suggested impact on victim behavior, or self-guardianship, has not yet been articulated in any theory. ...
... As an example of the intensification of the grievance, prior research has shown that relational distance predicts the extent to which violent confrontations culminate in injuries to the victim, suggesting that violence between those who know each other is indeed more intense (Apel, dugan, and Powers 2013;Bachman et al. 2002;Chu and Kraus 2004;Felson and Messner 1996;Tark and Kleck 2004;Weaver et al. 2004). For example, Apel and colleagues (2013) reported a pronounced risk of injury by assailants who are relationally close to their victims. ...
... self-protective behaviors) have been associated with adverse outcomes such as assault completion and injury (e.g. Bachman and Carmody 1994;Bachman et al. 2002;Powers 2015;Skogan and Block 1983;Tark and Kleck 2004). Furthermore, in dispute-related aggression, the presence of bystanders or other assailants may exacerbate the need to 'save face' or preserve one's social identity (Tedeschi and Nesler 1993) and therefore the assailant approaches the attack with more ferocity. ...
Article
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Intimacy between two disputants provides insulation against the occurrence of violence. However, once violence becomes a viable option for conflict resolution, intimacy may exacerbate incident outcomes. Furthermore, because of the emotional intensity, relationally close assailants may be less attuned to the situational characteristics, a known predictor of incident outcomes such as injury. This study explores the role of relational distance as a determinant of the completion (versus the attempt or threat) of non-sexual assault, as well as a potential moderator of the relationship between situational characteristics and assault completion. The analysis uses 35,616 incidents of non-sexual assault from the National Crime Victimization Survey (1992–2008). A logistic regression model of assault completion is estimated, with attention devoted to the influence of relational distance, demographic, and situational characteristics. A heteroscedastic logistic regression model is then estimated, including product terms between the regressors and an indicator for whether the assailant was relationally distant (versus relationally close). Relational distance is strongly and inversely related to the likelihood of assault completion. Furthermore, 10 of 12 situational characteristics (e.g. bystander presence use of a weapon) are significantly more strongly correlated with assault completion in incidents where the victim and assailant(s) are relationally distant.
... Studies indicate that if a victim uses active or forceful physical resistance (such as biting, kicking, and weapon use) then an offender has less chance to complete his sexual offense (Bart & O'Brien, 1985;Burgheim & Friese, 2008;Clay-Warner, 2002;Guerette & Santana, 2010;Marchbanks, Lui, & Mercy, 1990;Tark & Kleck, 2004;Ullman & Knight, 1992). The same holds for active verbal resistance (e.g., screaming, yelling; Clay-Warner, 2002; Quinsey, & Upfold, 1985;Ullman, 1998), in contrast to less active victim reactions such as freezing, crying, or reasoning (e.g., Clay-Warner, 2002;Galliano, Noble, Puechl, & Travis, 1993;Ullman & Knight, 1992). ...
... Resistance can also increase the risk of injury (Bachman, Saltzman, Thompson, & Carmody, 2002;Fossi, Clarke, & Lawrence, 2005), although some studies argue that this is more often the case in offenses where the offender is determined to hurt the victim from the outset (Balemba & Beauregard, 2012;Quinsey & Upfold, 1985;Tark & Kleck, 2004;Ullman, 1998;Ullman & Knight, 1992). Indeed, research shows that sex offenders exhibit variation in the way they react to victim resistance (e.g., Balemba & Beauregard, 2012;Fossi et al., 2005). ...
... Since Luckenbill's (1980) study of robbery, others have repeatedly emphasized the importance of victim resistance for understanding the level of violence used by offenders in robberies (Felson and Steadman 1983;Tark and Kleck 2004;Wright and Decker 1997). While these studies have shown that victim resistance and offender violence is related, it has remained highly disputed what the exact sequential order is of resistance and violence (McCluskey 2013). ...
... In other words, it is unclear if resistance of victims takes place before or after offenders use violence. Victim-based studies suggest that victim resistance has little effect on offender violence (Block 1981;Kleck and DeLone 1993;Tark and Kleck 2004) while offender-based studies propose that victim resistance is pivotal in triggering offender violence (Jacobs 2013;Katz 1988;Lindegaard, Bernasco, and Jacques 2015). These contradictory findings may be related to different types of biases of self-report studies. ...
Article
Robberies are improvised encounters involving offender threat, sometimes force, and often victim resistance. While the association between threat, force, and resistance in robberies is well-established, sequential patterns are disputed due to biases of retrospective studies. To overcome these biases, we draw on CCTV camera recordings of 49 store robberies. Tentative findings suggest that lethal threat reduces victim resistance and thereby offender violence, except in robberies where offenders depend on victims in accessing the valuables. In those robberies, lethal threat increases the likelihood of victim resistance despite having no effect on offender violence. By providing more reliable and detailed accounts of real-life behavior during robberies, our analysis illustrates the potential of a newly emergent field of studies of crimes caught on camera.
... Why does gun prevalence not have a significant positive effect on homicide? The most likely explanation is that (a) most guns are possessed by noncriminals whose only involvement in crime is as victims, and (b) defensive gun use by crime victims is both common (see the 19 surveys summarized in Kleck, 2001) and effective in preventing the offender from injuring the victim (Kleck & Delone, 1993;Southwick, 2000;Tark & Kleck, 2004). These violence reducing-effects of guns in the hands of victims may roughly cancel out the violence-increasing effects of guns in the hands of offenders, resulting in a near-zero net effect on homicide rates (Kovandzic et al., 2012(Kovandzic et al., , 2013. ...
... Further complicating matters, a recent study by Tark and Kleck (2004) found that resistance by victims was not associated with a higher probability of harm. While stalking was not one of the personal crimes measured, the findings did cautiously encourage victims of sexual assault to fight back instead of offering no resistance as previously recommended by other research. ...
... The environmental criminology literature has investigated the role of guardianship and self-protection in preventing crime (Cohen, Kluegel, & Land, 1980;Felson, 1995;Reynald, 2010). Generally, the literature supports the routine activity theory expectation that guardianship efforts reduce victimization risks (Cohen & Felson, 1979;Spano & Freilich, 2009;Tark & Kleck, 2006;Tewksbury & Mustaine, 2003;Wilcox, Madensen, & Tillyer, 2007). However, the body of research examining guardianship patterns and factors that influence self-protective behaviors among crime victims is still developing, and it remains an unanswered question as to which factors influence victims' decisions to adopt protective measures. ...
Article
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Cyberstalking is a relatively understudied area in criminology, with no consensus among scholars as to whether it represents a modified form of stalking or whether it is an entirely new and emerging criminal phenomenon. Using data from the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), this study compares stalking and cyberstalking victims across several dimensions, including situational features of their experiences and self-protective behaviors. Results indicate that there are significant differences between stalking and cyberstalking victims, including their number of self-protective behaviors adopted, duration of contact with their stalker, financial costs of victimization, and perceived fear at onset. Perceived fear over time, the occurrence of a physical attack, and sex of the victim were all associated with a higher number of self-protective behaviors for cyberstalking victims compared to stalking victims, net of the effect of the control variables. Implications for stalking theory, research, and criminal justice policy are discussed.
... Men who resisted with a gun were also less likely to be seriously injured than men who either did not resist at all or who resisted without a gun. vii Kleck and Tark (2004: 861) assessed sixteen different forms of victim self-protection and found that " a variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury. " Guerette question queried situations in which a gun was used in order to prevent harm. ...
Article
Arguments in favor of an individual moral right to keep and bear firearms typically appeal to the value of guns as a reasonable means of self-defense. This is, for the most part, an empirical claim. If it were shown that allowing private gun ownership would lead to an overall net increase in crime or other social harms, then the strength of a putative right to own a gun would be diminished. But would it be defeated completely? I do not think so, and indeed I want to suggest in this paper that even if the harms outweigh the benefits, that neither an outright ban on handguns nor restrictive discretionary ownership policies are justified as an initial reaction. In other words, given that the overall harms outweigh the overall benefits, the default position is still one in favor of reasonably permissive gun laws over a total ban or restrictive discretionary policies.
... Violence, therefore, may be used instrumentally during incidents in which victims resist. Similar to robbery, victim resistance may mediate the relationship between situational factors, including the victimoffender relationship, and victim injury during kidnappings (Cook, 1986;Tark & Kleck, 2004). There is some research to suggest that rape victims are more likely to resist when they know their assailant (Feinstein, Humphreys, Bovin, Marx, & Resick, 2011;Ruback & Ivie, 1988); if it is also true for kidnapping victims, there may be an increased risk for victim injury in kidnappings perpetrated by nonstrangers. ...
... Tillyer and Tillyer (2014) also found that victims were less likely to be injured if the offender presented a weapon during a robbery, suggesting that victims were more compliant when faced with a weapon. Tark and Kleck's (2004) study of victim resistance to offenders across a variety of crimes, found no clear pattern in the effect of resistance with a weapon on victim injury. ...
Research
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Chapter for Oxford Handbook of Offender Decision-Making
... The evidence, however, strongly suggests otherwise. There is a large and nearly unanimous literature that demonstrates that women often resist violence, even without self-defense training, and that their resistance is frequently successful (Clay-Warner, 2002;Tark & Kleck, 2004Ullman, 2007) and does not increase their risk of injury (Tark & Kleck, 2014;Ullman, 1998). For example, Tark and Kleck found that active resistance (e.g. ...
Article
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Women’s self-defense training has been excluded from sexual violence prevention efforts for a variety of reasons, including concerns that it is ineffective, encourages victim blaming, neglects acquaintance assault, and does not target the underlying factors that facilitate sexual violence. In this article, I argue that these critiques are misguided, founded on (1) misunderstandings of self-defense training, (2) stereotypes about gender, and (3) individualistic assumptions about the impact of self-defense. Further, I assert that empowerment-based self-defense training helps to change the root conditions that allow violence against women to flourish. For all these reasons, and because recent research has built a case for its effectiveness, I argue that women’s empowerment-based self-defense training should be part of any sexual violence prevention effort.
... Normandeau, 1968); characteristics of those who commit this crime (Gill, 2000;Wright and Decker, 1997, among others); and transactions between victims and perpetrators in terms of the use of force, resistance, and injuries resulting from them (e.g. DesRoches, 2002;Luckenbill, 1981;Tark and Kleck, 2004). In this third category the theoretical contributions derived from symbolic interactionism (Best and Luckenbill, 1982;Luckenbill, 1981), rational choice (Copes et al., 2012;Cornish and Clark, 1985;Jacobs, 2012Jacobs, , 2013, and routine activities (Cohen and Felson, 1979;Gill, 2000Gill, , 2001 stand out. ...
Article
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Drawing on interviews with drivers and passengers, this article discusses the perception of fear and management of victims of intercity bus robberies. It compares the victimization that takes place during bus robberies on highways and where buses are diverted off route. It addresses the relationship between perception of fear, the vehicle characteristics, multiplicity of victims, and duration of robbery. The article highlights important variations in the perception of violence according to the robbers’ victim management style as well as to the roles of and responses by drivers and passengers in the different phases of the coercive process. It concludes by arguing that it is urgent for the state to exercise its regulatory authority over these crimes and to guarantee security in bus transport.
... Victim resistance emerged as a key factor in shaping how sexual offenders against women perceived difficulties in the context of noncompleted sexual offences. Therefore, not only do we know that forceful victim resistance leads up to rape non-completion (e.g., Balemba & Beauregard, 2012;Clay-Warner, 2002;Tark & Kleck, 2004), but that sexual offenders against women are aware of the likelihood of victim resistance in assessing the difficulties to commit crime specifically. However, it should be noted that the logistic regression models on offence completion indicated that only perceived difficulties and the extent of thinking about sexual contact prior to the commencement of the offence increased the likelihood of noncompletion of sexual offences against women, not victim resistance specifically. ...
Article
Objectives: The current study aims to generate insights from sexual offenders on noncompleted sexual offences, that is, on offences that were stopped or discouraged. Methods: Using a sample of sexual offenders who initiated a sexual offence but were stopped or discouraged in action, which we refer to as noncompleted offences, we first examine which and how situational factors and internal states may affect their assessment of risks of apprehension and difficulties in this context. Second, we examine whether situational factors, internal states as well as perceived risks and difficulties can predict offence noncompletion. Linear and logistic regression models were estimated based on the type of offence (noncompleted sexual offences against women or children). Results: Main findings indicate that victim physical resistance is critical for how sex offenders are perceiving difficulties related to offending against women. The presence of a person nearby and victim resistance are predictive of noncompletion of sexual offences against children. Conclusion: This is a critical line of research because knowledge on the factors and circumstances that can discourage or stop offenders from committing crimes can be used by scholars and practitioners to think of prevention initiatives to reduce opportunities of crime.
... Serious predatory criminals perceive a risk from victim gun use that is roughly comparable to that of criminal justice system actions, and this perception may influence their criminal behavior in socially desirable ways.& Kleck and Kates (2001: 288-293): BThe most effective form of self-protection is use of a gun^and Bthere does not appear to be any increase in injury risk due to defensive gun use.& Tark and Kleck (2004): Out of sixteen different forms of victim self-protection, Ba variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury.& Southwick (2000): Men and women who resisted with a gun were less likely to be injured or lose property than those who resisted using some other means or who did not resist at all. ...
Article
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I argue that location-specific gun bans (commonly known as “gun-free zones”) are typically unjust. If there is a right to carry firearms outside of one’s home, then the state cannot prohibit gun owners from carrying their firearms into certain areas without assuming a special duty of protecting those whom it coercively disarms. This task is practically impossible in most of the areas where guns are commonly banned. Gun owners should therefore be allowed to carry their guns in most public places, including college campuses.
... The majority of victim resistance studies have focused on the impact of that resistance on offender behavior and crime outcomes (e.g. Balemba et al., 2012;Reid and Beauregard, 2017;Tark and Kleck, 2004;Wong and Balemba, 2018). However, it is of utmost importance to adopt a victimology-centered approach to understanding victims' behavior. ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing victim resistance during rape. Specifically, this study aims to understand which factors impact victim resistance using a multivariate approach focused on situational aspects related to offender, victim, and crime context characteristics. The sample includes 2,017 rape cases where victims did not resist, resisted passively, resisted verbally, or resisted physically. The first step of this study uses bivariate analyses to examine the relationship between the different categories of victim resistance and offender, victim, and crime context characteristics. Second, we computed three sequential binomial regressions in order to better understand the impact of each variable in multivariate modeling. The findings suggest that victim resistance is impacted by three main dimensions: victims' physical and psychological vulnerabilities, the mentalizing of victimization risk, and the analysis of offenders' vulnerabilities and additional risks to the victim. Both theoretical and practical implications for victims as well as for various actors in the criminal justice system are discussed.
... We acknowledge, however, that the discharge of a firearm is to some degree a consequence of victim and offender interaction (Lindegaard et al., 2015;Tark & Kleck, 2004). That is, even when an offender starts out a crime without intending to discharge a firearm, a victim's strong resistance or noncompliance may increase the risk of firearm discharge. ...
Article
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Violence involving firearms poses a serious threat to public safety in urban areas. The present study examines how illegal firearm availability (IFA) is related to firearm violence at the neighborhood level. We analyzed 3 years (from 2005 to 2007) of recovered firearm and violent index crime data from Newark, New Jersey. Violent index crime is separated into three categories by level of firearm use: shootings, display of firearm violence (DFV), and no-firearm violence (NFV). Negative binominal regression was conducted to examine the relationship between IFA and firearm violence at the neighborhood level while controlling for neighborhood conditions. Firearm violence is prevalent in Newark: over 90% of homicides and 47% of robberies were committed with a firearm. IFA is related to increased shootings and NFV, but not to DFV. IFA is a robust predictor of shootings in Newark, New Jersey. Neighborhood conditions influence IFA and firearm violence. IFA may reflect neighborhood distress level, given that areas with high IFA experience increased firearm violence as well as NFV. The local clustering of violent crime suggests placed-focused policing strategies aimed at removing firearms would aid in curbing serious firearm violence in urban neighborhoods.
... In the minds of many Americans, guns represent a key source of perceived safety (Joslyn, 2020). There is also strong evidence that guns can be used by law-abiding citizens to effectively defend themselves from criminal victimization (Kleck & Gertz, 1995;Tark & Kleck, 2004. Why, then, do only 35-40% of Americans keep a gun in their home? ...
Article
The gun ownership literature is vast, with dozens of studies seeking to explain who owns guns and why. We build on this literature in two key ways. First, we introduce a new variable into the fold: sensitivity to harm. We theorize that this concern actively inhibits gun ownership. Second, we direct theoretical and empirical attention to a predictor that has frequently been overlooked in the contemporary gun literature even though its timing makes it the proverbial confounder: childhood gun socialization. Using data from a national sample of 1,100 adults and controlling for other known predictors, we find that sensitivity to harm is negatively related to gun ownership, whereas childhood socialization is positively related to it. Furthermore, we find that childhood socialization is not only the strongest predictor of owning guns, but also confounds the relationship between racial resentment and gun ownership, and fully mediates the effect of gender.
... ESD classes are also responsive to evidence about the kinds of strategies that are most effective in deterring assault. As considerable research has demonstrated that assertive verbal responses (e.g., yelling) and forceful physical responses (e.g., kicking, striking, or running away) are far more likely to end assaults than passive responses such as pleading or crying (Clay-Warner, 2002;Tark & Kleck, 2004Ullman, 1997Ullman, , 2007, ESD classes focus on these assertive responses. Christina Dardis and her colleagues provide an overview of the evidence base for women's resistance tactics in a chapter in this volume. ...
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... Einige wenige US-amerikanische Studien kommen zu dem Schluss, dass Widerstand bei Delikten wie Raub und Vergewaltigungen insgesamt eher positive Effekte habe und das Verletzungsrisiko nicht erhöhe, jedoch die Wahrscheinlichkeit verringere, dass das Delikt vollendet wird (vgl.Guerette & Santana, 2010;Tark & Kleck, 2004). Diese Untersuchungen basieren auf Viktimisierungsbefragungen -an denen z. ...
Book
Ziele der Untersuchung waren die Identifikation möglicher Zusammenhänge des Risikos von Raubstraftaten und der Schädigung von Beschäftigten mit Merkmalen der Betriebsstätten des (Einzel-)Handels und dem Verhalten von Beschäftigten, ferner die Beurteilung der Effektivität von Präventionsangeboten und -maßnahmen der Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik (BGHW) hinsichtlich der Vermeidung von Raubereignissen und gesundheitlicher Schädigungen von Beschäftigten im Handel. Das Augenmerk lag dabei insbesondere auf Zusammenhängen zwischen technischen Sicherungen und organisatorischen Vorkehrungen und dem Viktimisierungsrisiko der betrachteten Betriebsstätten sowie auf dem Verhalten von Tätern und Beschäftigten während der analysierten Straftaten und dessen Bedeutung für den weiteren Tatverlauf im Hinblick auf Risiken für Beschäftigte, Kundinnen/Kunden und andere Anwesende. Für die Untersuchung wurde eine Kombination verschiedener methodischer Zugänge verfolgt. In drei einander ergänzenden, jeweils in Zusammenarbeit mit der BGHW durchgeführten Erhebungen wurden umfangreiche Daten zu Raubüberfällen und den davon betroffenen Betriebsstätten sowie zu einer Vergleichsgruppe nicht betroffener Betriebe erfasst; hierbei wurden auch Informationen zur Opfernachsorge für betroffene Beschäftigte erhoben. Die Erhebungen umfassten eine bundesweite Jahresvollerhebung von der BGHW gemeldeten Raubdelikten, eine ereignisunabhängige Erhebung der wichtigsten Betriebsmerkmale im Rahmen von bundesweiten Betriebsbegehungen sowie auf ausgewählte Regionen begrenzte intensive Betriebsbegehungen in zwei Großstädten und einem ländlichen Kreis. Ferner wurden eine umfassende Recherche der deutschen und internationalen (englischsprachigen) Forschungsliteratur vorgenommen und das polizeiliche Hellfeld und die polizeiliche Wahrnehmung und Prävention von Raubstraftaten untersucht, indem Daten der polizeilichen Kriminalstatistik herangezogen und Experteninterviews mit Polizeibeamten geführt wurden.
... They found strong evidence that all forms of resistance reduced injury and property loss, with extreme forceful resistance-using a gun, for instance-having the strongest impact. The authors assert that their findings raise doubts about the commonly held belief that resistance during the commis sion of a crime only worsens the situation and recommend victim self protection measures as a "wise course of action" (Tark and Kleck 2004). ...
... Several studies have found that violent offenses can escalate when victims resist or fight back. Although findings are somewhat mixed (see e.g., Tark & Kleck, 2004), the weight of the evidence suggests that victim resistance increases the likelihood that robbers and other violent offenders proceed with violence (Brookman et al., 2007;Ganpat et al., 2013;Sommers & Baskin, 1993). For example, in a study of violent property crime among, mostly male, adult prisoners in western Australia, Indermaur (1995) reported that in half of the cases, violence was used in response to victim resistance and was considered to be 'necessary' to persist with the crime. ...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews what is known about victim selection-that is, the question of why offenders select some people, but not others, to be victims of crime. It first addresses theoretical perspectives on victim selection, namely the structural-choice model of victim selection, social interactionism, and target congruence. It then describes three data sources that have been used in prior research to study victim selection: police reports, victimization surveys, and offender interviews. Subsequently, empirical findings on victim selection are reviewed and organized into nine subsections: victims' demographic characteristics, psychological characteristics, physical characteristics, behavior, biological characteristics, prior victimization, relationship to the offender, behavior during the offense, and the role of randomness. The final section discusses research gaps and potential future directions in the field, including an emphasis on theoretical explanations and mediators, cross-cultural studies, methodological innovation and diversity, interactions between victim and offender characteristics, and generality across crime types and subpopulations.
... This proposition is in line with victim-based studies of robberies, which report that a dominant offender tends to use violence. If the victim influences offender violence, challenging the domination of the offender is as likely to prevent violence as to stimulate it (Block, 1981;Kleck & DeLone, 1993;Tark & Kleck, 2004). These findings suggesting that victim behavior is insignificant for offender violence have, however, been contested by offenderbased studies (Bernasco, Lindegaard, & Jacques, 2013;Jacobs, 2013;Katz, 1988;Wright & Decker, 1997a, 1997b, which thus offer support for Collins's alternative account on the role of dominance in robbery violence-that dominance precedes nonviolence. ...
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The influential microsociological theory of violence advanced by Randall Collins suggests that emotional dominance preconditions physical violence. Here, we examine robbery incidents as counterevidence of this proposition. Using 50 video clips of real-life commercial robberies recorded by surveillance cameras, we observed, coded, and analyzed the interpersonal behaviors of offenders and victims in microdetail. We found no support for Collins’s hypothesized link between dominance and violence, but evidence against it instead. It is the absence, not the presence, of emotional offender dominance that promotes offender violence. We consider these results in the light of criminological research on robbery violence and suggest that Collins’s strong situational stance would benefit from a greater appreciation of instrumental motivation and cold-headed premeditation.
... In fact, carjacking requires the opposite of such a calculus; "going for it" and "pedal to the metal" (literally) are key elements of committing to such an offense and being successful in its execution. Traditional forms of target hardening (e.g., firearm possession; Tark and Kleck 2004) are not likely to have much effect on reducing attempts to "jack" a car because such efforts require considerable diligence to be effective, and emerging epidemiological research indicates that guns may not be particularly effective at reducing injury or property loss (Hemenway and Solnick 2015). ...
Chapter
Carjacking is a bold crime characterized by unpredictability and danger. Media reports have identified carjackings throughout the world, and estimates suggest 34,000 occur annually in the United States alone. Research with active offenders has examined carjacking in the context of US street crime, but official reporting inconsistencies and a focus on instrumental motivations hinder a more comprehensive understanding of this crime. The lack of a theoretical framework to analyze the decision-making behaviors of carjackers further complicates the development of effective means to deal with carjacking. With this in mind, this chapter synthesizes the current literature about carjacking and then integrates that synthesis with van Gelder's “hot/cool” approach to offender decision making. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of this framework for carjacking policy and prevention, and it suggests directions for future research.
... Connecting the dots, the available evidence therefore suggests that for many gun owners, fears about victimization can result in confirmation, myside, and optimism biases that not only discount the risks of ownership, but also elevate the salience of perceived benefit, however remote, as it does when one buys a lottery ticket (Rogers and Webley, 2001). Indeed, among gun owners there is widespread belief that having a gun makes one safer, supported by published claims that where there are "more guns", there is "less crime" (Lott, 1998(Lott, , 1999 as well as statistics and anecdotes about successful defensive gun use (DGU) (Kleck andGertz, 1995, 1998;Tark and Kleck, 2004;Cramer and Burnett, 2012). Suffice it to say that there have been numerous debates about how to best interpret this body of evidence, with critics claiming that "more guns, less crime" is a myth (Ayres and Donohue, 2003;Moyer, 2017) that has been "discredited" (Wintemute, 2008) and that the incidence of DGU has been grossly overestimated and pales in comparison to the risk of being threatened or harmed by a gun in the home (Hemenway, 1997(Hemenway, , 2011Cook and Ludwig, 1998;Azrael and Hemenway, 2000;Hemenway et al., 2000). ...
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The gun debate in America is often framed as a stand-off between two immutable positions with little potential to move ahead with meaningful legislative reform. Attempts to resolve this impasse have been thwarted by thinking about gun ownership attitudes as based on rational choice economics instead of considering the broader socio-cultural meanings of guns. In this essay, an additional psychological perspective is offered that highlights how concerns about victimization and mass shootings within a shared culture of fear can drive cognitive bias and motivated reasoning on both sides of the gun debate. Despite common fears, differences in attitudes and feelings about guns themselves manifest in variable degrees of support for or opposition to gun control legislation that are often exaggerated within caricatured depictions of polarization. A psychological perspective suggests that consensus on gun legislation reform can be achieved through understanding differences and diversity on both sides of the debate, working within a common middle ground, and more research to resolve ambiguities about how best to minimize fear while maximizing personal and public safety.
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The Second Amendment right to arms was uniformly viewed as an individual right from the time it was proposed in the late eighteenth century until legal debate over gun contrais began in the twentieth century. This Essay seeks to illuminate major late twentieth century contributions to that debate.
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Understanding why different nations have different homicide and suicide rates has been of interest to scholars, policy makers and the general public for years. Multiple theories have been offered, related to the economy, presence of guns and even exposure to violence in video games. In the current study, several factors were considered in combination across a sample of 92 countries. These included income inequality (Gini index), Human Capital Index (education and employment), per capita gun ownership and per capita expenditure on video games. Results suggest that economic factors primarily were related to homicide and suicide cross‐nationally. Video game consumption was not a major indicative factor (other than a small negative relationship with homicides). More surprisingly, per capita gun ownership was not an indicator factor cross‐nationally. The results suggest that a focus on economic factors and income inequality are most likely to bear fruit regarding reduction of violence and suicide.
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We analyze the largest set of nations (n = 55) with a valid measure of gun ownership levels ever used to test the effect of national gun levels on homicide rates. We control for measures of national culture to better isolate the effects of firearm availability. We find that, while national gun levels have a significant positive bivariate correlation with homicide rates, once one controls for violence-related cultural differences between nations, the association disappears. With this larger, more diverse set of nations, the U.S. is not influential – gun levels are unrelated to homicide rates regardless of whether it is included in the analysis.
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This research addresses recent calls to incorporate multidisciplinary approaches in the study of firearm violence by utilizing an elaborated criminal events perspective to explore the correlates of firearm injury severity. A unique dataset of nonfatal firearm injury data are derived from official police reports, allowing the use of a medically validated measure of injury trauma in place of more typical injury indicators. The relative and collaborative contributions of criminological and public health indicators for explaining variation in levels of injury severity are assessed. Multinomial logit models suggest that critical injuries are more likely among older victims, victims who knew their assailants, and victims who refused to cooperate with police. Additionally, the likelihood of critical victim injuries decreased as the time to report an incident to the police increased. The strongest correlates were measures of incident circumstances and the number of gunshot wounds a victim received. In all, these results reveal that a combination of measures from both fields is needed to provide a deeper understanding of injury severity outcomes.
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This study examines the effects of adherence to street codes on school-based violent victimization. In doing so, it separates street values into two distinct orientations: (1) retaliatory norms, and (2) general toughness norms. We analyze survey data from students across four waves of the Rural Substance Abuse and Violence Project using two-level mixed effects Poisson regression. The model specifies random intercepts across individuals to address possible endogeneity of the repeated measurements per respondent. Further, consistent with a fixed-effects approach, we control for differences across the schools in which students were nested. Findings reveal that adherence to retaliatory norms is negatively related to the frequency of serious violent victimization. In contrast, general toughness norms are positively related to serious violent victimization.
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To describe the epidemiology of self-defense gun use (sdgu) and the relative effectiveness of sdgu in preventing injury and property loss. Data come from the National Crime Victimization Survey for 2007-2011, focusing on personal contact crimes. For property loss, we examined incidents where the intent was to steal property. Multivariate analyses controlled for age, gender of offender and victim, if offender had a gun, urbanicity, and thirteen types of self-protective action. Of over 14,000 incidents in which the victim was present, 127 (0.9%) involved a sdgu. Sdgu was more common among males, in rural areas, away from home, against male offenders and against offenders with a gun. After any protective action, 4.2% of victims were injured; after sdgu, 4.1% of victims were injured. In property crimes, 55.9% of victims who took protective action lost property, 38.5 of sdgu victims lost property, and 34.9% of victims who used a weapon other than a gun lost property. Compared to other protective actions, the National Crime Victimization Surveys provide little evidence that sdgu is uniquely beneficial in reducing the likelihood of injury or property loss. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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FICHA TÉCNICA Resumen: Las agresiones y abusos sexuales a menores son una constante en nuestra realidad social y criminológica. Los medios de comunicación contribuyen a la difusión mediática del fenómeno y las redes sociales son una ventana abierta al mundo, con todos los beneficios que ello reporta y con todas las oportunidades delictivas que también brindan. La protección a la víctima ha de ser nuestra máxima prioridad, así como evitar situaciones de victimización secundaria. El estudio de posibles vías alternativas a la judicial puede ser una posibilidad de evitar males mayores para la víctima, si bien habrá que sopesar pros y contras. Palabras clave: Criminología; delitos sexuales; mediación; reparación; víctima; victimización; victimización secundaria; violencia sexual.
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Restrictive deterrence is the process whereby offenders limit the frequency, magnitude, or seriousness of their offenses to avoid pain. Prior research on drug dealing and restrictive deterrence largely focuses on the effect of formal control, or political sanction. Bentham, however, suggests there are four other types of sanction that may deter offenses: moral, sympathetic, religious, and physical. This paper explores whether and how each sanction type restricts drug sales among a sample of 29 young, suburban, middle-class drug sellers. We conclude by discussing the usefulness of studying interconnections between the sanctions and by outlining the reasons to choose Bentham's sanction typology in future work.
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Many on both sides of the gun control debate are under the impression that the best way to settle it is by weighing outcomes in the context of a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis. This article suggests that this way of thinking about the gun control debate is fundamentally mistaken. What matters is not the risk (or lack thereof) that guns pose to society, but simply whether guns are a reasonable means of self-defence when used to resist crimes. What this means is that even if we were to grant the claim that gun ownership decreases average safety, it wouldn't follow that restrictive gun control measures would be justified.
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The paper discusses the issue of victimization and the perception of fear in interurban bus robberies in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Analyzing interviews with bus drivers and passengers as well as news reports, it compares the victimization taking place during bus robberies on the highways themselves and during the robberies affecting buses diverted off their routes. It argues that the use of psychological and physical violence in order to manipulate the perception of fear is influenced by the characteristics of the vehicles, the multiplicity of victims, and the length of time involved in the interaction. In this sense, it relates the variations on the type and level of victimization to the management style used by the muggers, their different roles, and the crews' and passengers' reactions in the various phases of the coercive transaction. The paper concludes by arguing that it is urgent for the state to exercise its regulatory authority over such field of criminality and to improve security in transportation through interurban buses.
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Criminological studies which identify perpetrator characteristics are unanimous in finding that almost all murderers fall into three categories: (1) the mentally disturbed, and/or (2) adults with criminal records, and/or (3) juveniles with juvenile records. Many murder perpetrators exhibit two or all three characteristics. Thus laws such as the ones Heller invalidated that seek to disarm the general population have minimal value and deprive victims of the means of self-defense. The Second Amendment does not guarantee: (1) weapons of indiscriminate destructiveness such as cannons, (2) any right of violent felons or of other felons whom legislatures reasonably identify as likely to misuse weapons.
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This literature and congress report contains information about the present situation of criminological victim research. It looks into the self-image of modern victimology, its theoretical and empirical studies. It outlines a concept of victimological causation and discusses social-structural, processional and situational victimization. It elaborates on the victimization surveys, their methods, their origin, their phenomenological and etiological results. It gives a short report of the 13th International Symposium on Victimology in Mito/Japan (2009). Finally, it sketches the consequences of empirical victimological research on victim policy.
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Avoiding physical injury when confronted with sexual assault is often a major concern for potential victims. While many studies address the issue of physical injury in sexual crimes, these studies do not always agree regarding the relationship of resistance to injury, above and beyond the sexual assault itself. In addition, much of the existing literature relies on overlapping samples from the National Crime Victimization Survey, suggesting a larger literature than in fact exists. The current meta-analysis examines whether victim resistance leads to increased injury. Results from a systematic literature review across 25 databases and a search of the grey literature resulted in 4581 hits of which only 6 studies met eligibility criteria for the review. Findings suggest that resisters are more likely than non-resisters to sustain a physical injury above and beyond the sexual assault or rape. This finding holds true for physical resistance, verbal resistance, or resistance of any kind. While any type of self-protective action was found to significantly predict victim injury, the relationship between physical resistance and injury was most pronounced. Particularly given the important limitations of the analysis, including the small set of included studies and lack of moderator analysis, this examination should serve as a call and a guide for future research more so than a guide for policy.
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When confronted with a sexual attacker, women are often extremely concerned with avoiding rape completion. While narrative reviews typically suggest that the victim resistance is linked to rape avoidance, much of the existing literature relies on overlapping samples from the National Crime Victimization Survey. The current meta-analysis examines whether victim resistance is related to a greater likelihood of avoiding rape completion. Results from a systematic literature search across 25 databases supplemented by a search of the gray literature resulted in 4,581 hits of which seven studies met eligibility criteria for the review. Findings suggest that women who resist their attacker are significantly more likely than nonresisters to avoid rape completion. This finding held across analyses for physical resistance, verbal resistance, or resistance of any kind. Limitations of the analysis and policy implications are discussed, with particular focus on other research findings that resistance may be linked to greater victim injury.
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Although most crime in intraracial, studies suggest that interracial victimization is more injurious. This may be especially true for racially motivated offenses; however, studies of hate crime have not disaggregated which racial dyads are associated with injury, and whether they are more injurious than interracial victimizations generally. Likewise, studies of interracial violence often assume a theoretical framework grounded in racial animosity, but cannot test motivation directly. Using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), this study compares injuries across intraracial, interracial, and bias-motivated offenses. We find differences across racial dyad and the presence of racial animosity, however, the results are largely driven by the race of the offender. Implications for racial animosity theory, adversary effect, and hate crime literatures are discussed.
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A national Internet survey of a probability sample of 5,550 U.S. adults was used to study possible sources of error in surveys of defensive gun use (DGU). Respondents (Rs) were randomly exposed to variant question wordings, question sequences, and combinations of questions. Rs were 70% more likely to report a victimization when they were instructed to report incidents involving offenders known to them, and 43% more likely to report a victimization if they were instructed to include incidents that resulted in no injury or property loss. Rs were 125% more likely to report DGUs if they were directly asked about DGU than if they were first asked about victimization experiences, then asked about DGU in connection with those experiences.
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Do gun control laws reduce violence? To answer this question, a city-level cross-sectional analysis was performed on data pertaining to every U.S. city with a population of at least 25,000 in 1990 (n = 1,078), assessing the impact of 19 major types of gun control laws, and controlling for gun ownership levels and numerous other possible confounders. Models were estimated using instrumental variables (IVs) regression to address endogeneity of gun levels due to reverse causality. Results indicate that gun control laws generally show no evidence of effects on crime rates, possibly because gun levels do not have a net positive effect on violence rates. Although a minority of laws seem to show effects, they are as likely to imply violence-increasing effects as violence-decreasing effects. There were, however, a few noteworthy exceptions: requiring a license to possess a gun and bans on purchases of guns by alcoholics appear to reduce rates of both homicide and robbery. Weaker evidence suggests that bans on gun purchases by criminals and on possession by mentally ill persons may reduce assault rates, and that bans on gun purchase by criminals may also reduce robbery rates.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of victim resistance in attempted homicide. The study examined 93 cases of attempted homicide. Chi-square analysis revealed that certain behaviors, such as multiple acts of violence and methods of control, are more likely to occur if the victim resists. A multivariate analysis of crime-scene actions was carried out using Smallest Space Analysis. The plot showed three clusters of variables that reflected the offender's perception of the victim as an object, vehicle, or significant person. In the first of these roles, the offender was likely to escalate the level of violence; in the vehicle role, however, the offender employed physical controls and used single acts of violence. Finally, if the victim was personally significant to the offender, the latter was more likely to use verbal control strategies and knowledge of the victim. The implications of victim resistance in light of these role functions are discussed.
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What are the consequences when rape victims resist rapists? Analysis of a nationally representative sample of rape incidents reported in the National Crime Surveys for 1979 to 1985 yields the following findings: (1) Victims who resist are much less likely to have the rape completed against them than nonresisting victims, a pattern generally apparent regardless of the specific form of resistance: (2) The form of resistance that appears most effective in preventing rape completion is resistance with a gun, knife, or other weapon: (3) Most forms of resistance are not significantly associated with higher rates of victim injury. The exceptions are unarmed forceful resistance and threatening or arguing with the rapist: (4) Even these two forms of resistance probably do not generally provoke rapists to injure their victims, as ancillary evidence concerning assaults and robberies indicates that resistance rarely precedes injury. Attack against the victim appears to provoke victim resistance, rather than the reverse: (V Only about three percent of rape incidents involve some additional injury that could be described as serious. Thus it is the rape itself that is nearly always the most serious injury the victim suffers. Consequently, refraining from resistance in order to avoid injury in addition to the rape is a questionable tradeoff.
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This study of 108 convicted, incarcerated rapists and their 389 victims had two goals. The first goal was to examine empirically the hypothesized interaction of differentiated subgroups of rapists with combative and noncombative victim responses. If such an interaction exists, it is imperative to understand its implications for a potential victim of sexual assault. Consequently, the second goal was to address that issue by setting forth clinically derived recommendations for alternative resistive responses based upon the presumptive psychological and motivational themes underlying four subgroups of rapists. Although relatively abstract suggestions are being made about behavior in a highly traumatic situation, knowledge may be the only weapon a victim has. As such, knowledge can provide a sense of power as well as the confidence necessary to act rather than resign out of helplessness.
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The article reviews research on gun carrying and reports new findings from the National Self-Defense Survey on the prevalence, incidence, and patterns of adult gun carrying for protection. About 8.8 percent of adults carried guns in the preceding year, 3.7 percent carried guns on their person, and 6.5 percent carried guns in a vehicle. Within a given year, about 16.8 million U.S. adults carry a gun, 7.1 million who carry do so on the person and 12.4 million do so in a vehicle. On an average day, 2.7 million U.S. adults carry a gun for protection on their person and 5.0 million carry one in a vehicle. Less than one in a thousand instances of gun carrying involves a violent gun crime. Carrying was more common among males, Blacks, people in the South and West, people with a job requiring a gun, those who know someone who was recently the victim of a crime, believe that crime is above average in their neighborhood, have been a robbery victim, or believe people must depend on themselves for protection.
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Legal defensive violence by private citizens armed with firearms is a significant form of social control in the United States. Evidence indicates that private gun use against violent criminals and burglars is common and about as frequent as legal actions like arrests, is a more prompt negative consequence of crime than legal punishment and is often far more severe. In 1980 about 1,500-2,800 felons were legally killed by gun-wielding civilians, about 8,700-16,000 were nonfatally wounded and guns were used defensively about one million times. Victim resistance with guns is associated with lower rates of both victim injury and crime completion for robberies and assaults than any other victim action, including nonresistance. Survey and quasi-experimental evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that the private ownership and use of firearms deters criminal behavior.
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In this paper we present a "routine activity approach" for analyzing crime rate trends and cycles. Rather than emphasizing the characteristics of offenders, with this approach we concentrate upon the circumstances in which they carry out predatory criminal acts. Most criminal acts require convergence in space and time of likely offenders, suitable targets and the absence of capable guardians against crime. Human ecological theory facilitates an investigation into the way in which social structure produces this convergence, hence allowing illegal activities to feed upon the legal activities of everyday life. In particular, we hypothesize that the dispersion of activities away from households and families increases the opportunity for crime and thus generates higher crime rates. A variety of data is presented in support of the hypothesis, which helps explain crime rate trends in the United States 1947-1974 as a byproduct of changes in such variables as labor force participation and single-adult households.
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Examined the effectiveness of various victim resistance strategies in avoiding rape and/or physical injury in a sample of rape attacks from which chance interruptions had been removed and the temporal sequence of victim and rapists' behaviors was clear. Victim responses were compared in completed and unsuccessful rape attempts that were made by the same rapist using similar methods. Descriptions of 95 completed rapes and 41 attempted rapes that were committed by 72 men (average age at the time of 1st offense 24.08 yrs) referred to a maximum security psychiatric institution were obtained from victim and police reports. 50 of the victims received slight injury, 15 were more seriously injured, and 2 were murdered. Rapists were more likely to complete the rape when the attack was conducted in an inside location, with a weapon, and not against a stranger. Victims were more likely to avoid being raped when they resisted, particularly when they screamed or yelled for help. There was no positive association between victim resistance and the probability of subsequent injury. Previous reports of resistance being related to victim injury may be because victims resist more strongly when they are being injured. (French abstract) (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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What effects do gun control restrictions and gun prevalence have on rates of violence and crime? Data were gathered for all 170 U.S. cities with a 1980 population of at least 100,000. The cities were coded for the presence of 19 major categories of firearms restriction, including both state- and city-level restrictions. Multiple indirect indicators of gun prevalence levels were measured and models of city violence rates were estimated using two-stage least-squares methods. The models covered all major categories of intentional violence and crime which frequently involve guns: homicide, suicide, fatal gun accidents, robbery, and aggravated assaults, as well as rape. Findings indicate that (1) gun prevalence levels generally have no net positive effect on total violence rates, (2) homicide, gun assault, and rape rates increase gun prevalence, (3) gun control restrictions have no net effect on gun prevalence levels, and (4) most gun control restrictions generally have no net effect on violence rates. There were, however, some possible exceptions to this last conclusion—of 108 assessments of effects of different gun laws on different types of violence, 7 indicated good support, and another 11 partial support, for the hypothesis of gun control efficacy.
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Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, this paper attempts to disentangle the effects of self-protective behaviors on the risk of injury in assaults against women. Unlike previous research, in this study we address simultaneously three important conceptual and methodological issues: (1) type of self-protective behavior, (2) temporal sequencing of self-protective behavior in relation to injury, and (3) the victim/offender relationship. Results indicate that even after controlling for other contextual characteristics of an assault, the probability of a woman being injured was lowest when she employed non-physical resistance strategies such as arguing or reasoning with the offender. This was true for all types of offenders. However, for assaults involving intimates, the probability of injury was increased for women who physically resisted their attackers.
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To determine who resists sexual assault and what happens, data were examined from a probability sample of 3,132 adult community residents of Los Angeles, California. Seventy-five per cent of the respondents reporting an assault (n = 365) indicated that they had attempted to resist their most recent assault; talking was the most frequently used resistance strategy. The strongest predictor to emerge in the multivariate analyses of resistance was timing of assault: respondents assaulted only in childhood were less likely to resist than either respondents assaulted only in adulthood, or respondents assaulted in both phases. Univariate analyses indicated that resistance reduced the probability of sexual contact, however multivariate analyses suggested that assailant use of force was the most important determinant of assault outcome.
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This study examined errors in estimating household gun ownership that result from interviewing only 1 adult per household. Data from 2 recent telephone surveys and a series of in-person surveys were used to compare reports of household gun ownership by husbands and wives. In the telephone surveys, the rate of household gun ownership reported by husbands exceeded wives' reports by an average of 12 percentage points; husbands' reports also implied 43.3 million more guns. The median "gender gap" in recent in-person surveys is 7 percentage points. Future research should focus on respondents' reports about personally owned guns.
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of victim resistance in attempted homicide. The study examined 93 cases of attempted homicide. Chi-square analysis revealed that certain behaviors, such as multiple acts of violence and methods of control, are more likely to occur if the victim resists. A multivariate analysis of crime-scene actions was carried out using Smallest Space Analysis. The plot showed three clusters of variables that reflected the offender's perception of the victim as an object, vehicle, or significant person. In the first of these roles, the offender was likely to escalate the level of violence; in the vehicle role, however, the offender employed physical controls and used single acts of violence. Finally, if the victim was personally significant to the offender, the latter was more likely to use verbal control strategies and knowledge of the victim. The implications of victim resistance in light of these role functions are discussed.
Article
This study examined two samples composed of single-offender completed rape and attempted rape incidents reported to the Chicago police to determine whether rapists escalate the level of violence in their attacks when victims fight back. Chi-square analyses revealed that the type of victim resistance matched assailant attack strategy. Additionally, forceful verbal resistance was found to be a more common response to verbal attacks, and physical resistance was more likely in attacks where offenders used initial physical force or threats with weapons. Forceful physical resistance by victims was found to be unrelated to the use of physical force by the offender during or after the rape. Offender use of physical force prior to rape was found to be significantly related to the existence of such force by the offender both during and after the rape. Evidence was mixed regarding whether the association of the offender's initial attack (i.e., verbal or physical) with victim rape and physical injury varied according to victim resistance. However, resistance in response to verbal or physical attacks did not lead to increased offender violence after the rape.
Article
This paper is based on interviews with a sub-sample of 13 women who had been both raped and had avoided being raped when attacked. Both acts had to occur when the woman was an adult, and at least one attack had to have taken place not more than two years prior to the interview. These women were part of a larger convenience sample of 94 women, 18 and over, who had either been raped or had avoided being raped when threatened within two years prior to the interview. The interviews examined both background and situational variables. Because for these 13 women the background factors, except for the prior assault, were held constant since each woman was her own control, it is possible to see the impact of situational variables on the outcome—rape or rape avoidance. Women were more likely to avoid rape under the following circumstances: 1) when they were attacked by strangers, 2) when they used multiple strategies, screamed and physically struggled, 3) when the assault took place outside, and 4) when their primary concern was with not being raped. Women were more likely to be raped under the following circumstances: 1) when they were attacked by men they knew, particularly if they had had a prior sexual relationship with them, 2) when the only strategy they used was talking or pleading, 3) when the assault took place in their homes, 4) when their primary concern was with not being killed or mutilated and 5) when there was a threat of force.
Article
Published studies of rape avoidance are reviewed to evaluate the scientific basis for rape avoidance advice. The results are evaluated in light of conceptual and methodological limitations of this literature, and specific recommendations for future research are provided. Consistent evidence suggests the effectiveness of forceful resistance strategies for avoiding rape; however, few studies have analyzed resistance within the social and situational contexts of rape to provide situation-specific information about rape avoidance. Larger, representative community studies are needed in which a broader range of situational factors, resistance strategies, and assault outcomes are assessed. Interactions of contextual factors such as pre-assault alcohol use and the victim-offender relationship with offense behaviors should be tested, and data on the sequential ordering of offender attack and victim resistance should be analyzed to enhance prediction of the probability of completed rape and physical injury to victims.
Article
Women's resistance strategies to rape were examined using police reports and the court testimonies of 147 women who either had avoided rape or were raped by subsequently incarcerated rapists. Analyses examined whether particular resistance strategies used by women were differentially effective in response to attacks by different types of rapists. The results provided little evidence that the type of rapist influenced the efficacy of women's resistance strategies for avoiding rape and physical injury. This overall lack of significance suggests that previous findings showing that women's use of forceful resistance strategies enhances their ability to avoid rape without increasing their physical injury are accurate and do not need to be qualified based on the type of rapist committing the assault.
Article
The effectiveness of women's resistance strategies for reducing the severity of sexual abuse and physical injury during sexual assaults was analyzed in a variety of assault circumstances. Data were obtained from police reports and court testimonies of 274 women (96% White, 4% Black) who either were raped or avoided rape by subsequently incarcerated violent stranger rapists. Statistical analyses showed that particular resistance strategies were effective in specific situations. Women who fought back forcefully were more likely to avoid rape than women who did not fight back, regardless of whether a weapon was present. Forceful fighting resistance was related to increased physical injury when a weapon was present, but most physical injury was caused by nonlethal weapons. Women who screamed or fled when confronted with weapons experienced less severe sexual abuse. Increased physical injury was associated with pleading, crying, or reasoning indoors. Women who used drugs or alcohol experienced more severe sexual abuse and physical injury.
Article
Women's resistance strategies to rape were examined using police reports and the court testimonies of 274 women who either avoided rape or were raped by subsequently incarcerated sex offenders. The sequence of behaviors in the offender-victim interaction was analyzed to determine whether women who resist rape with physical force are, as some have suggested, exacerbating the potential for physical injury or are simply responding to the severity of the offender's physical attack. The results indicated that 85% of the women in the study who resisted with physical force did so in response to the offender's initiated violence. The remaining 15% who resisted with physical force did so in response to the offender's verbal aggression. Moreover, those women who responded with physical aggression to the offender's violent physical attack were more likely to avoid rape than were women who did not resist such force. Also, the potential for physical injury was no greater for these women than for those who used other resistance strategies or who offered no resistance. These analyses suggest that the frequently found correlation between physical resistance and injury of the woman might be the result of the initial level of the offender's violence and should not be used to discourage women from physically resisting rape.
Article
To date, research on effective rape avoidance strategies has involved media-recruited, acknowledged rape victims and avoiders, most of whom were assaulted by total strangers. In the present study, rape avoidance research was extended to a sample of acquaintance rape victims and avoiders who were located by a self-report survey that identified women who both do and do not conceptualize their assaults as rape. The study's goal was to determine whether acknowledged rape victims, unacknowledged rape victims, and rape avoiders could be discriminated by situational variables including the response strategies used in the assault. Victims and avoiders were significantly discriminated. Compared to rape victims, avoiders (1) were less likely to have experienced passive or internalizing emotions at the time of the assault, (2) perceived the assault as less violent, and (3) were more likely to have utilized active response strategies (i.e., running away and screaming). The results suggest that the major findings of existing research on stranger rape avoidance are generalizable to acquaintance rape. However, concerns are expressed over methodological limitations of research on rape avoidance from the victim's perspective.
Article
127 adult female assault victims were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the effectiveness of their means of protecting themselves. Completed rapes tended to have been avoided if the victim both called for help and talked to the assailant while victims generally maintained their physical resistance had proven provocative. Past findings relative to the effectiveness and consequence of utilizing different methods of defense are discussed, and suggestions for future research are provided.
Article
Is rape unique in terms of the factors which transform an attempt into a completion? Or is rape similar to other forms of assaultive violence? These questions are addressed here by employing the National Crime Survey to develop models of attempted versus completed rape, assault on females, and assault on males. Logistic equations predicting each type of victimization are estimated and compared. The analysis shows that rape victimization is unique. Additionally, the differences between attempted versus completed rape and assault cannot be accounted for by the sex of the victim or the sex of the assailant. The implications of these findings for theories of rape and assault are discussed. The policy implications of these findings are briefly considered.
Article
The consequences of violence against woman are myriad, ranging from extreme psychological trauma to severe physical injury and even death. Utilizing the National Crime Victimization Survey, this paper explored the extent to which victim resistance, either physical or verbal/passive, during an assault differentially produced injury between intimate and stranger perpetrated assaults. It was found that female victims of assaults perpetrated by intimates were nearly twice as likely to sustain injury if they used either physical or verbal self-protective behavior. The only significant predictor of injury sustained by female victims of stranger perpetrated assaults, however, was presence of a weapon.
Article
The choices of potential victims and of criminals with respect to weapons were analyzed in an economic game framework. It was found, using National Crime Victimization Study data, that victims who have and use guns have both lower losses and lesser injury rates from violent crime. It was also found that the victim's choice of having a gun is not independent of the criminal's choice. Based on these findings, the consequences of having a greater portion of the potential victims being armed were analyzed. It was found that this would reduce both losses and injuries from crime as well as both the criminals' incentives to commit violent crimes and to be armed.
Article
Separata de la revista the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology vol. 72 Nº 2 Incluye bibliogrfía
Article
Women may resist rape by taking a variety of self-protective measures. To examine the association between a woman's use of self-protection during a rape incident and four injury outcomes, the authors analyzed data from the National Crime Survey, an ongoing survey of self-reported victimizations throughout the United States. The study population was 851 women greater than or equal to 12 years of age who reported being a victim of completed or attempted rape during 1973-1982. Logistic regression was used to control for eight covariates, including use of weapons by the offender and the nature of the victim-offender relationship. The use of self-protection during a rape incident was protective against completed rape. The odds ratios for completed rape were 0.2 for all measures of self-protection--nonforceful, forceful, and both forceful and nonforceful (all 95% confidence intervals between 0.1 and 0.4). After controlling for type of rape incident, the odds ratios for physical injury were greater than 1.0 for all measures of self-protection but, in the case of physical injury requiring medical attention, only the odds ratio for use of both forceful and nonforceful measures was statistically significant. Because of the limitations of the National Crime Survey, these findings should be interpreted cautiously. Further research is needed to help women respond in ways that will minimize injury should a rape incident occur.
Article
Information about the rapes of 2,526 adult females was coded from the records of a rape crisis center to test the hypothesis that physically resisting a stranger would be more strongly related to injury than would physically resisting someone known to the victim. Among other differences, attacks by strangers were more likely to involve a weapon and to occur outdoors than were attacks by nonstrangers, and victims were less likely to physically resist strangers than nonstrangers. Across the entire sample, multivariate analyses revealed that physical resistance was significantly related to injury, even when other factors were held constant. Consistent with the hypothesis, physical resistance was more strongly related to injury when the rapist was a stranger than when the rapist was known to the victim.
Article
This article examines the consequences of encounters between strangers that might have resulted in robbery or rape and explores how the eventual outcomes of those incidents were related to the resistance offered by their potential victims. It is based on data from the National Crime Survey. Although the conclusions necessarily are tentative, it appears that forceful resistance was related to less frequent success by robbers, but robbery victims resisting forcefully had a greater risk of being physically attacked. Forceful resistance in potential rape incidents was related to higher risk of attack and bodily injury with no apparent reduction in risk of rape. On the other hand, victims who were able to offer nonforceful resistance reported a reduced risk of being robbed and suffered less frequent attack and injury. In rape incidents, nonforceful resistance was linked to lower risk of actual rape but was unrelated to risk of attack or other forms of injury.
Article
The validity of self-reported data on the presence of guns in the home obtained in a telephone survey was assessed in samples of households where a hunting license had been purchased or a handgun registered. The survey was conducted among a random sample of Ingham County, MI, residents who had purchased a hunting license between April 1990 and March 1991 and among those registering a handgun during 1990. A third study sample was selected from the county's general adult population using a random digit dialing method. The interviews were conducted between November 1991 and January 1992. The proportion of respondents who reported that at least one gun was kept in their household was 87.3 percent among handgun registration households and 89.7 percent among hunting license households. In the survey of the general population of the county, approximately one-third of the respondents reported keeping a gun in the household, 67 percent of them for hunting and 23 percent for safety. Despite some limitations, the data indicate that a question on gun presence in a household can be used in a in a telephone survey.
Article
This investigation sought to clarify which resistance strategies were associated with rape avoidance and at what cost. Data were gathered from initial and supplemental police reports about 150 sexual assault victims, ages 16 and older, who were assaulted between June 1, 1988, and May 31, 1989, in Omaha, Neb. Although this analysis could not determine causality, it did indicate that forceful verbal resistance, physical resistance, and fleeing were all associated with rape avoidance, whereas nonforceful verbal resistance and no resistance were associated with being raped. Further, women who used forceful resistance were no more likely to be injured than women who did not resist.
Article
Physical assaults against women result in more than 5,000 deaths and 1 million nonfatal injuries per year in the United States. Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1992-1995, were used to test the association between injury risk and self-protective behaviors, while controlling for victim, offender, and crime-related characteristics. Unlike in prior studies, a self-protective behavior measure that accounted for the temporal sequencing of the occurrence of injuries and self-protective behaviors was used. The study also examined whether the effect of self-protective behaviors varied as a function of victim-offender relationship status. The sample included 3,206 incidents in which females were physically assaulted by a lone male offender within the previous 6 months. Multivariate results revealed that women who used self-protective measures were less likely to be injured than were women who did not use self-protective measures or who did so only after being injured. The effect of self-protective behaviors on risk of injury did not vary as a function of the victim-offender relationship. The inverse association found between self-protective behaviors and injury risk differs from those of previous studies. Owing to inconsistent findings across studies, caution should be used when making recommendations to women regarding whether or not they should use self-protective behaviors during a physical assault.
  • Kleck Gary
  • Kleck Gary