spective, mandatory arrest for intimate partner violence, increasing rates of prosecution for rape and intimate partner violence, and stricter enforcement of protection orders could be considered preventive interventions. (For a more complete discussion of these types of interventions, see the section on Criminal Justice Interventions, below.)

Other Issues in Rape Prevention

The literature on rape prevention includes strategies for rape avoidance and rape resistance, which are considered by some—particularly in the criminal justice field—to be prevention through reduction of opportunity. Rape avoidance entails strategies to be used by women to minimize their risk of sexual assault. These strategies include avoiding dangerous situations, not going out alone at night, keeping doors and windows closed and locked, and other precautions to be taken by women. Although these avoidance techniques may reduce a woman's risk of being sexually assaulted by a stranger, it is not clear they would reduce acquaintance attacks (Koss and Harvey, 1991). These strategies are also criticized as restricting women's activities and as potentially placing the blame on women who are sexually assaulted for not taking adequate precautions (Brodyaga et al., 1975, as cited in Koss and Harvey, 1991). The extent to which a woman chooses to use any particular avoidance strategy may depend on the importance she attaches to the perceived costs and benefits of the strategy (Furby et al., 1991). An emphasis on rape avoidance may actually increase the fear of rape (Koss and Harvey, 1991). Furthermore, avoidance strategies may do little to lower the overall rate of sexual assault; they may simply displace the assault from one potential victim to another.

Rape resistance strategies involve recommendations to women on what to do should they be attacked. Storaska (1975) popularized among law enforcement agencies the theory that women should remain passive in the face of an

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement