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Concept: Assault


Background Young women attending university are at substantial risk for being sexually assaulted, primarily by male acquaintances, but effective strategies to reduce this risk remain elusive. Methods We randomly assigned first-year female students at three universities in Canada to the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act Sexual Assault Resistance program (resistance group) or to a session providing access to brochures on sexual assault, as was common university practice (control group). The resistance program consists of four 3-hour units in which information is provided and skills are taught and practiced, with the goal of being able to assess risk from acquaintances, overcome emotional barriers in acknowledging danger, and engage in effective verbal and physical self-defense. The primary outcome was completed rape, as measured by the Sexual Experiences Survey-Short Form Victimization, during 1 year of follow-up. Results A total of 451 women were assigned to the resistance group and 442 women to the control group. Of the women assigned to the resistance group, 91% attended at least three of the four units. The 1-year risk of completed rape was significantly lower in the resistance group than in the control group (5.2% vs. 9.8%; relative risk reduction, 46.3% [95% confidence interval, 6.8 to 69.1]; P=0.02). The 1-year risk of attempted rape was also significantly lower in the resistance group (3.4% vs. 9.3%, P<0.001). Conclusions A rigorously designed and executed sexual assault resistance program was successful in decreasing the occurrence of rape, attempted rape, and other forms of victimization among first-year university women. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Windsor; SARE number, NCT01338428 .).

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, Rape, Sexual assault, Assault, Sex crimes


The New York Police Department (NYPD) under Operation Impact deployed extra police officers to high crime areas designated as impact zones. Officers were encouraged to conduct investigative stops in these areas. City officials credited the program as one of the leading causes of New York City’s low crime rate. We tested the effects of Operation Impact on reported crimes and arrests from 2004 to 2012 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in crime and arrest counts before and after census block groups were designated as impact zones compared to census block groups in the same NYPD precincts but outside impact zones. Impact zones were significantly associated with reductions in total reported crimes, assaults, burglaries, drug violations, misdemeanor crimes, felony property crimes, robberies, and felony violent crimes. Impact zones were significantly associated with increases in total reported arrests, arrests for burglary, arrests for weapons, arrests for misdemeanor crimes, and arrests for property felony crimes. Impact zones were also significantly associated with increases in investigative stops for suspected crimes, but only the increase in stops made based on probable cause indicators of criminal behaviors were associated with crime reductions. The largest increase in investigative stops in impact zones was based on indicators of suspicious behavior that had no measurable effect on crime. The findings suggest that saturating high crime blocks with police helped reduce crime in New York City, but that the bulk of the investigative stops did not play an important role in the crime reductions. The findings indicate that crime reduction can be achieved with more focused investigative stops.

Concepts: Crime, Criminal law, New York City, Police, Felony, Assault, Theft, Misdemeanor


“We can meet after my lecture, at a table, over a drink,” Carl Ogereau told me - that’s “the French way to fight terrorism,” he explained: refusing to be intimidated. So on Friday evening, one week after the Paris terrorist attack that left 130 dead and hundreds injured, Ogereau arrived on his motorbike at Café Clochette across the street from the Hôpital Saint Louis. Nearby, we saw candles and flowers outside Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge, the restaurants where more than a dozen young people had been killed and many more severely injured the previous week. The restaurants are . . .

Concepts: United Nations, Abuse, Terrorism, French Revolution, Assault, Strasbourg, Louis IX of France, The French Way


In the wreckage of destroyed lives, broken families, and a traumatized community left behind by a gunman’s rampage on June 12, Americans seemed to be asking what kind of crime this was. Another senseless mass shooting in a long line from Virginia Tech to Aurora to Newtown? A terrorist attack inspired by ISIL or other extremist groups? A hate crime against the LGBT community? Do the distinctions among these unspeakable horrors matter? Central Floridians didn’t wait for an answer; they poured into the streets and lined up at blood-donation centers ready and willing to give part of themselves in hopes . . .

Concepts: Terrorism, Assault, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Atlantic Coast Conference, Jon Lord


Objectives. We explored differences in criminal convictions between holders and nonholders of a concealed handgun license (CHL) in Texas. Methods. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) provides annual data on criminal convictions of holders and nonholders of CHLs. We used 2001 to 2009 DPS data to investigate the differences in the distribution of convictions for these 2 groups across 9 types of criminal offenses. We calculated z scores for the differences in the types of crimes for which CHL holders and nonholders were convicted. Results. CHL holders were much less likely than nonlicensees to be convicted of crimes. Most nonholder convictions involved higher-prevalence crimes (burglary, robbery, or simple assault). CHL holders' convictions were more likely to involve lower-prevalence crimes, such as sexual offenses, gun offenses, or offenses involving a death. Conclusions. Our results imply that expanding the settings in which concealed carry is permitted may increase the risk of specific types of crimes, some quite serious in those settings. These increased risks may be relatively small. Nonetheless, policymakers should consider these risks when contemplating reducing the scope of gun-free zones. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 15, 2012: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300807).

Concepts: Crime, Conviction, Criminal law, Firearm, Concealed carry in the United States, Crimes, Assault, Theft


Two million women and one million men experience rape, stalking, or physical assault by a current or former romantic partner each year in the U.S. Not only do women report twice the incidents, but intimate partner violence (IPV) that women experience is typically more severe. Explanations for IPV gender asymmetry include male dominance attitudes, hostile sexism, and men’s control-seeking. There are gaps in our knowledge of how attitudes and control-seeking co-relate to influence IPV. This study demonstrates a mediation analysis to investigate these relationships. Data were from a cross-sectional online survey of male undergraduate students from a public Southeastern university. The survey measured attitudes of male dominance and hostile sexism, desire for control, and IPV perpetration. After including age and academic level in the model, male dominance remained a significant predictor of likelihood of physical IPV (OR = 1.16, p = .004) but not psychological IPV. The addition of control-seeking (physical OR = 1.65, p < .001) mediated the influence of male dominance on the likelihood of physical IPV perpetration (OR = 1.018, p = .753). Hostile sexism was a significant predictor of psychological and physical IPV (psychological IPV OR = 1.31, p < .001; physical IPV OR = 1.54, p < .001), over and above age and academic level. The addition of control-seeking (psychological IPV OR = 1.27, p < .001; physical OR = 1.53, p < .001) partially mediated the influence of hostile sexism on IPV (psychological IPV OR = 1.21, p = .001; physical OR = 1.34, p < .001). Results suggest control-seeking mediates the relationship between male dominance and physical IPV and partially mediates the relationship between hostile sexism and IPV. Practical implications for IPV prevention programs and theoretical implications are discussed.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Million, Gender, Interpersonal relationship, Violence, Rape, Family therapy, Assault


Child sexual abuse has gained public attention and has become 1 of the most high-profile crimes. This study aimed to determine the demographic and medicolegal aspects of child sexual abuse in greater Cairo, Egypt. This is a retrospective study from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011. Data were collected from a Cairo medicolegal department and were statistically analyzed. The total number of cases was 1832 victims; 57.9% were males and 42.1% were females. Most assaults occurred in 2010 (16.2%) and 2011 (17.5%). The age group 6 to 12 years accounted for higher rate (49%), mostly in males (71.8%). A total of 83.3% of the victims belonged to low social class, and 72.3% of the victims were out of school. Only 1.9% of the victims had a mental disability. The crime scene was an unknown place in 78.1%. All offenders were males; most cases had 1 offender (82.5 %); and most offenders were extrafamilial (94.2%), of low social level, illiterate, unemployed, and between 18 and 30 years old. The unmarried offenders assaulted the females more than the males, whereas the married assaulted the males more than the females. A total of 5.8% were intrafamilial offenders; 62.7% of these cases were incest against girls and 37.3% were sodomy against boys. Clothes were normal in 48.8%. Anal assault (52.3%) and incomplete vaginal penetration (32%) were the commonest types. There was no significant relation between findings, investigations, and time. In conclusion, child sexual abuse in greater Cairo represents a problem. Therefore,forensic medicine should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach to prevent, investigate, and treat the problem.

Concepts: Sociology, Crime, Child sexual abuse, Child abuse, Rape, Boy, Crimes, Assault


Sexual assault (SA) is a common and deleterious form of trauma. Over 40years of research on its impact has suggested that SA has particularly severe effects on a variety of forms of psychopathology, and has highlighted unique aspects of SA as a form of trauma that contribute to these outcomes. The goal of this meta-analytic review was to synthesize the empirical literature from 1970 to 2014 (reflecting 497 effect sizes) to understand the degree to which (a) SA confers general risk for psychological dysfunction rather than specific risk for posttraumatic stress, and (b) differences in studies and samples account for variation in observed effects. Results indicate that people who have been sexually assaulted report significantly worse psychopathology than unassaulted comparisons (average Hedges' g=0.61). SA was associated with increased risk for all forms of psychopathology assessed, and relatively stronger associations were observed for posttraumatic stress and suicidality. Effects endured across differences in sample demographics. The use of broader SA operationalizations (e.g., including incapacitated, coerced, or nonpenetrative SA) was not associated with differences in effects, although including attempted SA in operationalizations resulted in lower effects. Larger effects were observed in samples with more assaults involving stranger perpetrators, weapons, or physical injury. In the context of the broader literature, our findings provide evidence that experiencing SA is major risk factor for multiple forms of psychological dysfunction across populations and assault types.

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Battery, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Human sexual behavior, Rape, Assault, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm


Firearm violence frequently involves alcohol, but there are no studies of misuse of alcohol and risk for future violence among firearm owners. We examined the association between prior convictions for alcohol-related crimes, chiefly driving under the influence (DUI), and risk of subsequent arrest among 4066 individuals who purchased handguns in California in 1977. During follow-up through 1991, 32.8% of those with prior alcohol-related convictions and 5.7% of those with no prior criminal history were arrested for a violent or firearm-related crime; 15.9% and 2.7%, respectively, were arrested for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault. Prior alcohol-related convictions were associated with a fourfold to fivefold increase in risk of incident arrest for a violent or firearm-related crime, a relative increase greater than that seen for age, sex or prior violence. Prior convictions for alcohol-related crime may be an important predictor of risk for future criminal activity among purchasers of firearms.

Concepts: Crime, Criminal law, Violent crime, Police, Crimes, Assault, Arrest, Misdemeanor


BACKGROUND: Being physically assaulted is known to increase the risk of the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms but it may also skew judgements about the intentions of other people. The objectives of the study were to assess paranoia and PTSD after an assault and to test whether theory-derived cognitive factors predicted the persistence of these problems. Method At 4 weeks after hospital attendance due to an assault, 106 people were assessed on multiple symptom measures (including virtual reality) and cognitive factors from models of paranoia and PTSD. The symptom measures were repeated 3 and 6 months later. RESULTS: Factor analysis indicated that paranoia and PTSD were distinct experiences, though positively correlated. At 4 weeks, 33% of participants met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, falling to 16% at follow-up. Of the group at the first assessment, 80% reported that since the assault they were excessively fearful of other people, which over time fell to 66%. Almost all the cognitive factors (including information-processing style during the trauma, mental defeat, qualities of unwanted memories, self-blame, negative thoughts about self, worry, safety behaviours, anomalous internal experiences and cognitive inflexibility) predicted later paranoia and PTSD, but there was little evidence of differential prediction. CONCLUSIONS: Paranoia after an assault may be common and distinguishable from PTSD but predicted by a strikingly similar range of factors.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, Battery, Rape, Assault, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm