Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Reader/Committee Chair

Parsons, Deborah


Research shows that women who have been sexually assaulted once are more likely to be sexually assaulted again (revictimized). Several factors contribute to the likelihood of a woman being revictimized, including social support, personal behavior, and psychological health. This research proposes that a combination of these factors contributes to a woman’s self-perception as a victim or survivor of sexual assault. It is this self-perception that determines revictimization. Twenty women were interviewed to explore the victim or survivor mentality and its relation to revictimization. All women had negative consequences of the assault. Negative consequences lead some women to develop a victim mentality. Some women were able to find positive consequences out of their assault and developed a survivor mentality. Revictimization was linked to negative consequences of the initial victimization and the victim mentality that resulted from the negative consequences. Reasons for non-revictimization were somewhat the opposite of the reasons for revictimization and were linked to positive consequences of the assault and the survivor mentality that resulted from the positive consequences. The overall attitudes and behaviors of a sexual assault victim determines whether she views herself as a victim or survivor which significantly impacts the likelihood of her revictimization.