Prevalence and patterns of sexual assault across the life span among incarcerated women

Anita Raj, Jennifer Rose, Michele R. Decker, Cynthia Rosengard, Megan R. Hebert, Michael Stein, Jennifer G. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the prevalence of and associations among sexual assault by life stage (childhood, adolescence, or adulthood) and perpetrator (family, stranger, friend, or partner) via a survey of a statewide sample of incarcerated women (N = 484). Participants were 18 to 56 years old, and the majority were White (56%). Results demonstrate higher rates of sexual assault in childhood (35%) and adulthood (22%) as compared with adolescence (14%). Logistic regression analyses revealed significant associations between childhood sexual assault by family and adulthood sexual assault by friend, stranger, and partner; adolescent sexual assault was not significantly associated with sexual assault in childhood or adulthood. These findings suggest that the lifetime sexual victimization pattern of incarcerated women differs from that seen in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-541
Number of pages14
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Incarcerated women
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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