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Are women who use weapons to resist rape less or more likely to be raped or otherwise injured than those who don't use weapons?

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Contrary to the claims of certain lawmakers, women who use weapons to resist rape are far less likely to be raped or otherwise injured. For example, a 2008 paper in the journal Crime & Delinquency found that resisting with "an object, knife, or gun reduced the odds" of being raped by 91%. Likewise, a 2014 paper in the journal Violence Against Women that examined 733 rapes and 1,278 non-rape sexual assaults found that none of the 26 women who resisted these attacks with a weapon were raped or injured after she used the weapon. A 2008 paper in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice states: "The empirical data clearly have shown that forceful resistance strategies do increase avoidance of rape without increasing the risk of injury by strangers and known perpetrators."

DocumentationRape Prevention Facts




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