Acknowledged rape victims are women who have experienced forced sexual intercourse and view their experience as rape. Unacknowledged rape victims have suffered the same experience but do not view it as rape. Acknowledged (N=39) and unacknowledged (N=29) rape victims completed a sexual experiences interview and a rape attitude survey to determine if differences exist in the rape belief systems of the two groups, and to identify factors involved in the rape labelling process. Unacknowledged victims were more likely than acknowledged victims to have known the man, to have been involved in a romantic relationship, and to have experienced greater prior and immediate sexual intimacy. Unacknowledged victims also received fewer threats of bodily harm, experienced less offender violence, and had less severe emotional reactions to their experience. Unacknowledged victims characterized the man involved more positively and were less offended by his behavior than the acknowledged victims. There were no differences in attitudes between the two groups. Findings suggest that there are important situational differences between the experiences of acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims, but few, if any, internal differences between the women. (Author/NRB)
Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).
1 - Available on microfiche
National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD. National Center for the Control and Prevention of Rape.