Study: Resisting Attackers Helps 2.5 Million Women a Year Are Victims of Crime, Bureau Estimates

Article excerpt

More than 60 percent of women who claim to have resisted an attacker verbally or physically think they improved their situation, according to a Justice Department study released Sunday.

On the other hand, 23 percent who reported resisting a rape, robbery or assault by arguing, reasoning or fighting back believed that resistance did not help, and 16 percent were unsure.

The data came from 400,000 individual interviews between 1987-1991 with a nationally representative sample of women taken from the department's National Crime Victimization Survey. The department's Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 2.5 million women a year - or about 1 in 43 - were victims of violent crime.

The study found that four out of five women took some protective action when their attacker was an intimate or other relative; just under three out of four did so when an acquaintance or stranger attacked.

Women victimized by an intimate or another family member were about twice as likely to put up a physical defense compared to those assaulted by a stranger. They were most likely to argue or reason with strangers.

Women attacked by an intimate - boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse or ex-spouse - were injured 59 percent of the time, but only 27 percent of the time when attacked by a stranger.

The report says the incidence of injury was reversed in the case of rape: Strangers caused injury far more often - 60 percent of the time - than those known to the victim, 43 percent of the time. …