Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Authors & affiliation

Lisa Fomenko, Ines Keygnaert

Abstract

In this study, we sought to create a prediction model to identify individuals admitted at a Sexual Assault Care Center (SACC) who are at risk of revictimization. We had a dataset comprising 4793 admissions, and explored a wide array of 150 predictor variables, encompassing characteristics of the victim, the violence, and the care received at the SACC. We employed survival analysis, specifically the Cox Proportional Hazards model, to better understand the factors contributing to revictimization risk. Our findings underscore the significance of socioeconomic and mental health factors among the predictors. Socioeconomic vulnerabilities such as homelessness, unemployment, a lack of a significant other during the initial SACC admission, and shelter residence following SACC discharge were linked to increased risks of revictimization. Additionally, mental health factors played a crucial role, with a history of psychiatric consultations and prior experiences of sexual violence elevating the risk. High scores on the risk assessment questionnaire related to selfharm and suicide risk were also associated with a heightened hazard of revictimization. Remarkably, our study revealed that characteristics of the victim, particularly those related to socioeconomic and mental health, emerged as the most critical predictors. In contrast, variables associated with the nature of the sexual violence itself or the care received at the SACC were not selected. These findings underscore the necessity of a holistic approach to (re)victimization. They emphasize the urgency of targeting especially vulnerable groups characterized by a limited or nonexistent social network, financial dependency, and compromised mental health. Notably, these factors are not only risk factors for revictimization but also for victimization itself, highlighting the importance of creating a more complex, substantial, and durable safety net. Our research underscores the need for future interventions and support systems that extend beyond the SACC to address the multifaceted and long-term challenges faced by these vulnerable groups.

Publication date:

2024

Staff members:

Ines Keygnaert

Link to publication

Open link

Related publications