Psychologists are in complete agreement with the consistent evidence that shows that resistance may prevent rape and resistance poses no increased risk of injury. Sarah Ullman, a researcher at the University of Illinois, reviewed dozens of studies of police reports and rape crisis center information. She discovered that more forceful resistance (verbal and physical) was related to less severe sexual abuse. Victim resistance was not related to the level of physical injury. In fact when she studied the sequence of events Dr. Ullman found that women resist when they are being hurt, they are not hurt because they resist. In other words they are hurt and then they resist, not the reverse. Surveys have shown that most people think that injury is the most likely outcome of resistance even though no empirical evidence supports this view. Martha McCaughey writing about “the fighting spirit” says that dealing with the misinformation and myths about fighting back are necessary before women can embrace the will to fight.
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