Principal Investigator(s): DeKeseredy, Walter S., University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Faculty of Criminology, Justice, and Policy Studies
This qualitative study explored incidents of sexual assault of women by former husbands or cohabitants and the link to male peer support for sexually aggressive men in rural Ohio. Sexual assault was defined as unwanted sexual contact, sexual coercion, attempted rape, or rape. A series of screening questions were asked to determine a respondent's eligibility for inclusion in the study. The main criteria were being aged 18 or older and having ever had any type of unwanted sexual experience when they wanted to end, were trying to end, or after they had ended a relationship with a husband or live-in male partner. If they met the selection criteria, the women were invited to a semi-structured face-to-face interview at a time and place of their choosing. Between February 2003 and July 2004, 43 women were interviewed. The interviews included several demographic questions such as income, level of education, marital status, length of the relationship, and how long the respondent had lived in the area. Other questions asked about the unwanted sexual experiences, social support networks, and male pornography use.
DeKeseredy, Walter S. Sexual Assault During and After Separation or Divorce in Rural Ohio, 2003-2004. ICPSR04309-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-22. doi:10.3886/ICPSR04309.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04309.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2002-WG-BX-0004)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: domestic assault, domestic violence, family violence, intimate partner violence, pornography, sexual assault, sexual attitudes, social attitudes, social networks, social support, spouse abuse, violence against women
Smallest Geographic Unit: none
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: All women in rural Ohio who were victims of sexual assault during or after separation or divorce between 2003 and 2004.
Data Types: machine-readable text
Data Collection Notes:
Pseudonyms were used to protect the identities of all those who participated in this study, including service providers.
Study Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore incidents of sexual assault of woman who were breaking up or trying to break up intimate relationships and the link to male peer support for sexually aggressive men in rural Ohio.
Study Design: This qualitative exploratory study looked at incidents of sexual assault committed by former husbands or cohabitants in the lives of rural women in Ohio. Two female research assistants carried cellular phones 24 hours a day to receive calls from women interested in participating in the study. Callers were told the purpose of the study and were then asked a series of screening questions to determine their eligibility to be interviewed. The main criteria were being aged 18 or older and having ever had any type of unwanted sexual experience when they wanted to end, were trying to end, or after they had ended a relationship with a husband or live-in male partner. An unwanted sexual experience was defined as sexual contact, sexual coercion, attempted rape, or rape. If they met the selection criteria, the women were then invited to a semi-structured face-to-face interview at a time and place of their choosing. Participants were paid 25 dollars for their time and up to 7.75 dollars for travel expenses. Six interviews were conducted over the phone, five were held off campus, and the rest were conducted in an Ohio University office.
Sample: A total of 43 women were interviewed. Posters placed in public places attracted most of the respondents (n = 27). Eight women called the number after exposure to ads or stories about the study in the media and the same number were referred by individuals or organizations (n = 8). Most of the respondents (n = 30) lived in Athens County, three lived in Hocking County, and one lived in Vinton County, and nine lived in other rural parts of Ohio. The mean age of the sample was 35 and the mean income for 2002 was 13,588 dollars. Sixty-five percent (n = 28) had some type of post-secondary education and close to half of the participants were unemployed. Of the 25 who had been married, all had divorced or legally separated, but only five remarried. Most of the respondents also had children.
Mode of Data Collection: face-to-face interview, telephone interview
Description of Variables: The interview text files contain questions on background and demographic information such as income, level of education, employment status, marital status, length of the relationship, number of children, ethnicity or race, country of origin, religious affiliation, and how long the respondent had lived in the current city or town. Other questions asked about the respondent's perception of crime levels and safety concerns. Respondents were asked to describe any unwanted sexual experiences. Further questions asked about the respondent's social networks, contact and relationships with neighbors, and any help she may have received from the criminal justice system, as well as any social support from friends, counselors, or shelters in dealing with an abusive relationship. Partner-specific questions focused on the use of pornography and interactions with male friends. Finally, respondents were asked for policy recommendations that they thought would better protect women from unwanted sexual contact during or after separations and divorce.
Response Rates: Not applicable.
Presence of Common Scales: none
Original ICPSR Release: 2008-04-22
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