Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Ann Coyn


To determine what was the most effective resistance strategy to avoid rape and the relationship of resistance to additional physical injury, data were examined from 179 sexual assault police report forms. Data were gathered from June 1, 1988 to May 31, 1989 in Omaha, Nebraska. Victims under the age of 13, male victims, incest cases and assaults avoided due entirely to outside intervention were excluded from this study. 115 of the 179 were raped and 64 were rape avoiders. A total of 103 of the 179 were treated in a local hospital emergency rooms. None of the injuries resulted in death. Women who utilized multiple resistance strategies were less likely to be raped but more likely to be injured. Because the temporal sequence of events regarding injury was not noted, one cannot ascertain if additional physical injury occurred as a part of the sexual assault or if the additional physical injury was a result of victim resistance. This study substantiated prior research in that resistance may prevent rape but goes further by illustrating that multiple resistance strategies in particular were the most effective, of those chosen by the subjects in our sample, to utilize in order to avoid rape. Clinical treatment recommendations for the sexual assault victims as well as interventions to prevent sexual assault/rape in American society are also addressed.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Social Work and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Social Work University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Janice M. Zoucha-Jensen July, 1991.