Rape Typology and the Coping Behavior of Rape Victims

  • Ann Wolbert Burgess
  • Lynda Lytle Holmstrom


To understand rape from the victim’s point of view, we spent a year talking with all rape victims admitted to the emergency floors of the Boston City Hospital. It became clear in our conversations that rape is an act initiated by the assailant, and that it is not primarily a sexual act but an act of violence. We learned that it was very important to the victims how their assailants gained access to them, that is, the mode of attack. We therefore analyzed all these cases, whether adult, adolescent, or child victims, and we developed a typology of rape based on the assailant’s method of attack. The two main styles were (1) the blitz rape and (2) the confidence rape.


Coping Behavior Crisis Intervention Rape Victim Hospital Emergency Room Gang Rape 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Wolbert Burgess
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lynda Lytle Holmstrom
    • 3
  1. 1.School of NursingBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Rape Prevention and Control Advisory CommitteeU.S. Department of Health, Education and WelfareUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyBoston CollegeBostonUSA

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