U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Victim Responses by Rapist Type - An Empirical and Clinical Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1986
26 pages
This study of 108 convicted, incarcerated rapists at the Massachusetts Treatment Center and their 389 victims sought to examine a hypothesized interaction between rapist subgroups and combative and noncombative victim responses.
Within the Center's taxonomy, rapists were classified as being exploitative, compensatory, displaced-anger, or sadistic. For all rapist subgroups, there was a higher incidence of brutal aggression associated with combative than with noncombative resistance from the victim. For compensatory rapists, brutal force was used against 30 percent of combative and 5.4 percent of noncombative victims. Among displaced-anger rapists, brutal force was evidenced against 84.7 percent of combative victims and 18.2 percent of noncombative victims. For sadistic rapists, brutal aggression was used against 80 percent of combative resisters and 20 percent of noncombative resisters. Exploitive rapists used brutal force against 62.6 percent of combative victims. For sadistic and displaced-anger rapists, the use of nonbrutal force was significantly greater against victims who did not resist combatively. Findings are discussed in terms of the victim's symbolic significance to the various rapist types. Victim responses of escape, verbal resistance, nonconfrontative and confrontative resistance, and acquiescence are examined in terms of their potential efficacy or dangerousness in incidents involving the various rapist types. 5 notes and 44 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1986