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Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1987-1992

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
Creator
  • Ruch, Libby O. (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2000-12-04
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health
Language
English
Free Keywords
communities; crime reporting; decision making; sex offenses; sexual assault; treatment programs; victim services; victims; women
Description
  • Abstract

    This study was undertaken to investigate factors facilitating and hindering a victim's decision to report a sexual assault to the police. Further objectives were to use the findings to assist in the design of effective intervention methods by sexual assault treatment centers and community education projects, and to present significant findings useful for community policing and other criminal justice initiatives. Survey data for this study were collected from female victims of nonincestuous sexual assault incidents who were at least 14 years of age and sought treatment (within one year of being assaulted) from the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, during 1987-1992. Data were collected on two types of victims: (1) immediate treatment seekers, who sought treatment within 72 hours of an assault incident, and (2) delayed treatment seekers, who sought treatment 72 hours or longer after an assault incident. Demographic variables for the victims include age at the time of the assault, marital status, employment status, educational level, and race and ethnicity. Other variables include where the attack took place, the victim's relationship to the assailant, the number of assailants, and whether the assailant(s) used threats, force, or a weapon, or injured or drugged the victim. Additional variables cover whether the victim attempted to get away, resisted physically, yelled, and/or reported the incident to the police, how the victim learned about the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, whether the victim was a tourist, in the military, or a resident of the island, the number of days between the assault and the interview, and a self-reported trauma Sexual Assault Symptom Scale measure.
  • Abstract

    Victimization surveys of both the general population and various special populations (e.g., college students and children) have for many years documented a relatively high incidence and prevalence of sexual assault. Many victims, however, do not report sexual assaults to the police. Underreporting of sexual assault to the police is important because of its negative impact on the potential apprehension, arrest, and conviction of violent sex offenders. It may also bias comparisons of sexual assault cases with other criminal offenses. Although previous research has shown that a number of variables influence whether a victim reports an abuse incident, such as the type of sexual assault, the victim's demographic characteristics, and the level of post-assault trauma, there have been conflicting findings as to which specific variables within these dimensions are most important. This study was undertaken to investigate factors facilitating and hindering a victim's decision to report a sexual assault to the police. Further objectives were to use the findings to assist in the design of effective intervention methods by sexual assault treatment centers and community education projects, and to present significant findings useful for community policing and other criminal justice initiatives.
  • Abstract

    Data for this study were collected from female victims at least 14 years of age who sought treatment (within one year of being assaulted) from the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, during 1987-1992. The SATC, at the time of data collection, was the sole treatment center providing comprehensive services to sexual assault victims on the island of Oahu, where the city of Honolulu, the state capital and most densely populated urban area, is located. Data were collected on two types of victims: (1) immediate treatment seekers (ITS victims) and (2) delayed treatment seekers (DTS victims). ITS victims were those who sought treatment within 72 hours of an assault, and DTS victims were those who sought treatment 72 hours or longer after an assault. The ITS subsample were interviewed using the SATC emergency room intake form, which was a structured self-report instrument administered by an SATC staff social worker when intake occurred during office hours, or by a member of the crisis intervention team on call during evenings, weekends, and holidays. The DTS subsample were interviewed using a general counseling form administered by an SATC social worker during the initial counseling session.
  • Abstract

    Demographic variables for the victims include age at the time of the assault, marital status, employment status, educational level, and race and ethnicity. Other variables include where the attack took place, the victim's relationship to the assailant, the number of assailants, and whether the assailant(s) used threats, force, or a weapon, or injured or drugged the victim. Additional variables cover whether the victim attempted to get away, resisted physically, yelled, and/or reported the incident to the police, how the victim learned about the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, whether the victim was a tourist, in the military, or a resident of the island, the number of days between the assault and the interview, and a self-reported trauma Sexual Assault Symptom Scale measure.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: Self-reported trauma was measured with the Sexual Assault Symptom Scale, a 32-item instrument measuring psychological distress.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Unknown.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1987-l992
Temporal Coverage
  • 1987 / 1992
    Time period: 1987--1992
  • 1987 / 1992
    Collection date: 1987--1992
Geographic Coverage
  • Hawaii
  • Honolulu
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Female victims of nonincestuous sexual assaults living in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sampling
Convenience sampling.
Note
2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-WT-VX-0015). United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (MH40329).
Availability
Download
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3051 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Ruch, Libby O., Coyne, Barry J., Perrone, Paul A.. Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police in Hawaii, Final Report. NCJ 188264, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 2000.
    • ID: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/188264.pdf (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Ruch, Libby O. (2000): Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1987-1992. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03051.v1