Suspect aggression and victim resistance in multiple perpetrator rapes

Jessica Woodhams, Claire Cooke

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Several research studies have reported an elevated level of aggression in rapes committed by multiple perpetrators compared to rapes committed by lone suspects. Several factors that have been linked to elevated aggression in generic samples of rape were examined for the first time with a sample of multiple perpetrator rapes. Factors that might be associated with victim resistance were also investigated. Victim and offender characteristics, as well as the behaviors displayed by victims and offenders, were extracted from the police files of 89 multiple perpetrator stranger rapes perpetrated against female victims in the United Kingdom. These behaviors were rated for their level of suspect (non-sexual) aggression and victim resistance, respectively. Degree of victim resistance was significantly and positively associated with suspect aggression. Older victims were the recipients of significantly higher levels of suspect aggression. Victims who were incapacitated from drugs and/or alcohol were less likely to be the recipients of suspect aggression. Group leaders displayed more aggression towards the victim than the followers in the groups. The number of perpetrators was significantly related to the degree of resistance displayed by the victim with offences perpetrated by fewer suspects being characterized by more victim resistance. Research regarding cognitive appraisal during criminal interactions and the respective roles of offenders is referred to in considering these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1516
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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