Capturing Sexual Violence Experiences Among Battered Women Using the Revised Sexual Experiences Survey and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (2014)

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Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Aug 14.

Moreau C1, Boucher S, Hébert M, Lemelin J.


The assessment of intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) has garnered increased attention in recent years. However, uncertainty about which measure best captures experiences of IPSV remains. The present study focused on the direct comparison of two widely used measures of IPSV: the revised Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) and the revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2). A secondary aim of the study was to extend the scope of IPSV acts by evaluating the presence of pornographic acts and experiences of forced sexual relations with other individuals. The current sample consisted of 138 battered women using the services of shelters. Results indicated that 79.7 % of women reported at least one incident of IPSV on either the CTS2 or the SES. The concordance rate between both measures was 76.8 %, with the highest concordance being for severe sexual violence.

The Sexual Violence scale of the CTS2, which is more concise than the SES, identified 16.7 % more cases of IPSV. In addition, 26.1 % of women reported at least one incident involving pornography and 9.4 % had been forced to engage in sexual activities with other individuals. Women who reported experiences associated with pornography were 12-20 times more likely to be victims of severe sexual violence on the two measures.

Such findings confirm the high prevalence of sexual violence among this population and indicate how rates can vary depending on the measures used. This study also underscores the relevance of investigating diverse types of violent acts to better understand how IPSV manifests itself.