Heterogeneity in multiple perpetrator rapes: a national comparison of lone, duo and 3+ perpetrator rapes

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The effect of number of perpetrators involved in multiple perpetrator rapes on offense characteristics is underresearched despite beliefs that duos/dyads differ in their interactions and dynamics to groups of 3+ members. We analyzed a national sample of 336 allegations of completed and attempted rape of female victims from the United Kingdom. Rapes committed by multiple (duos and groups of 3+ perpetrators) and lone offenders were compared on offense characteristics (incorporating the approach, maintenance, and closure phases of each rape) and victim and offender sociodemographic characteristics. Significant differences between rapes committed by lone, duo, and 3+ group offenders were found for the age and ethnicity of the offenders; the type of approach used; the locations of the initial contact, assault, and release of the victims; the use of a vehicle; the precautions utilized; the verbal themes present; and the sex acts performed. These results have implications for educational prevention programs and interventions with offenders.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-522
JournalSexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number6
Early online date3 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • multiple perpetrator rape, group rape, gang rape, duos, dyads