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RESOURCES
RISK FACTORS

There are many different types of risk factors associated with sexual assault. It’s usually a
combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors that contribute to the
likelihood of intimate partner violence, victimization or perpetration. However these are just
contributing factors, and not everyone who is identified as “at risk” becomes involved in
violence.

Check out the lists below to find out if you or someone you may know are at risk:

  • Individual Risk Factors
    • Low self-esteem
    • Low income
    • Low academic achievement
    • Young age
    • Aggressive or delinquent behavior as a youth
    • Heavy alcohol and drug use
    • Depression
    • Anger and hostility
    • Antisocial personality traits
    • Borderline personality traits
    • Prior history of being physically abusive
    • Having few friends and being isolated from other people
    • Unemployment
    • Emotional dependence and insecurity
    • Belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
    • Desire for power and control in relationships
    • Perpetrating psychological aggression
    • Being a victim of physical or psychological abuse (consistently one of the strongest predictors of perpetration)
    • History of experiencing poor parenting as a child
    • History of experiencing physical discipline as a child
  • Relationship Factors
    • Relationship conflict, fights, tension, and other struggles
    • Relationship instability and break-ups
    • Dominance and control of the relationship by one partner over the other
    • Economic stress
    • Unhealthy family relationships and interactions
  • Societal Factors
    • Traditional gender norms (e.g., women should stay at home, not enter the workforce, and be submissive; men support the family and make the decisions)
  • Nevada Risk Factors

Intimate partner violence and sexual violence are among the most serious health problems facing Nevada today. In 2010, Nevada reported one of the highest lifetime prevalence of sexual violence by women, surpassed only by Oregon and Alaska. A 2009 and 2011 Needs Assessments for Nevada identified the following risks that are specific to Nevada and that lead to sexual assault:

      • Heavy alcohol and drug use
      • Lack of employment opportunities
      • Weak community sanctions against sexual violence perpetrators
      • Being young
      • Multiple sex partners
      • Having been previously raped or sexually abused
      • A lack of education among youth
      • Unawareness of the rates of occurrence for rape and sexual violence
      • A lack of education and collaboration for primary prevention among those who provide services to sexual assault victims
No matter what, the only person responsible for a sexual assault is the perpetrator. Never the victim.
This website is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number #5UF2CE002430-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).