Clergy Perceptions of Sexual Assault Victimization

Elil Yuvarajan, Matthew S. Stanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although congregants often turn to clergy for help in dealing with personal difficulties, including marital problems, substance abuse issues, and mental illness, survivors of sexual assault do not commonly turn to clergy for support or guidance. This study utilized a mixed-methods approach, online survey, and semi-structured interviews to determine how clergy perceive sexual assault victimization. The results of this study showed that more blame was assigned to the victim as the relationship with the perpetrator became closer, with the exception of marital rape. This study also found that hostile sexism was a predictor of negative attitudes toward rape victims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-608
Number of pages21
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • church
  • clergy
  • rape
  • sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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