Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Elizabeth Jeglic

Second Reader

Cynthia Calkins

Third Advisor

Matthew Johnson

Abstract

There is a discrepancy between the number of perpetrated sexual assaults and the number of reported sexual assaults. Past research has shown that one factor that could contribute to this discrepancy in reporting and disclosure of sexual assaults is the victim-offender relationship. Furthermore, there is evidence that victims of sexual assault minimize when describing their offense and their offender, which could further impact reporting and disclosure. The current study seeks to look into whether the victim-offender relationship influences the disclosure, reporting, and use of minimization, in reference to sexual assault. The victim-offender relationships that were analyzed were “stranger”, “friend/acquaintance”, “partner”, and “familial”. Findings showed no significant differences among these victim-offender relationships in disclosure, reporting, or use of minimization. The results were further analyzed through looking at the frequencies in each of the victim-offender categories, in relation to the three dependent variables, in which observed differences were discussed.

 
 

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