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Journal of Sex Research


Greater accuracy is needed in the assessment of sexual victimization that occurs in intimate relationships. Existing assessment strategies in the literature often represent two distinct approaches—intimate partner violence specific strategies vs. sexual violence specific strategies. The current study compared multiple distinct strategies for assessing intimate partner sexual victimization (IPSV) and evaluated a modification that optimizes intimate partner and sexual violence specific strategies. Two samples of undergraduate women were recruited. Sample 1 (N = 236) completed the Severity of Violence Against Women Scales (SVAWS) and a modified version Sexual Experiences Survey–Short Form Victimization (SES-SFV) in which participants were cued to respond both for romantic partners and non-partners (referred to as the SES-RP/NP). Sample 2 (N = 206) completed the SVAWS and was randomized to either the traditional SES-SFV or the SES-RP/NP. Across samples, the prevalence of IPSV varied based on the measure used (SVAWS = 11.7%; SES-SFV = 17.0%; SES-RP/NP = 25.4%). The SES-RP/NP identified significantly more IPSV than the SES-SFV, SVAWS, and prior studies. Both the SES-SFV and the SES-RP/NP were positively and significantly associated with the SVAWS. The results suggested that optimal measurement of IPSV would consider both intimate partner and sexual violence strategies.





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