Reporting Sexual Assault: Review of the Literature Regarding the Decision to Report Sexual Assault

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Erica Pieper, Class of 2016


This review of the literature investigates the many reasons why a person may choose not to report sexual assault. The pain, trauma, worthlessness, and other extreme emotions that stem from sexual assault are contributing factors in an individual’s choice to report; there are many reasons why a person would choose not to report. From my time spent at The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, I have seen survivors make this difficult decision over and over—some choosing to report, some not. The results of the literature review give new insight to the reporting process our clients may decide to participate in. 

Comments from Mentors

Erica’s work about the factors that influence sexual assault survivors to report their assault adds to the research about our society’s current rape-supportive culture. Erica’s results highlighted the many reasons that survivors of sexual assault do not report the crime. Many of those reasons are closely related to the myths that people currently believe about sexual assault and sexual assault survivors. It was a pleasure to work with Erica on this important project, and I commend her for continuing to conduct research and raise awareness about an issue that most people are afraid to discuss.

--Dr. Nada Elias-Lambert


Article Details

Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences