Aggression and Violent Behavior
25, Part B
Despite extensive research on sexual assault, study of the processes and behaviors central to responding to sexual assault threats is limited. The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical, narrative review of the literature on behavioral response to threat (BRTT) highlighting BRTT as mechanism of self-defense interventions and process of sexual victimization. Empirical findings regarding measurement, styles, effectiveness of different styles of BRTT, and facilitators and barriers of BRTT, are reviewed. Most individuals engage in some type of active behavior when faced with a sexual assault threat; yet, the range of the behaviors elicited can be broad and is not well captured by current measurement approaches. Assertive BRTT is the most effective response style, but few, if any, feminist self-defense intervention studies measure change in this behavior as a result of intervention. Recommendations for clinical practice include developing comprehensive measurement of BRTT and adapting interventions to decrease barriers to assertive BRTTs. Recommendations for future research include undertaking both qualitative and quantitative efforts to better characterize the range, stability, and predictors of all possible BRTT styles.
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Anderson, RaeAnn E. and Cahill, Shawn P., "Behavioral response to threat (BRTT) as a key behavior for sexual assault risk reduction intervention: A critical review" (2015). Psychology Faculty Publications. 5.