A group of sociologists conducted interviews with victims from their university, a two-year college and community sites serving low-income young women, including a county health clinic and a transitional living program, totaling 148 college-aged women between the ages of 18 and 24 who experienced partner violence in at least one prior relationship.
To try and learn about factors in predicting teen rape and attempted rape, researchers asked the young women to talk about all of their partner relationships, starting with their first one, which began when they were around 15 years old on average. Age was a big factor, younger women with much older partners are more likely to have experienced these crimes, along with socioeconomic status, and recalling higher levels of physical abuse and coercive control.
The researchers found differences in the rate of sexual violence across the three groups. While young women from the university group had a higher rate of partner rape in their first relationship, their rate dropped significantly over the course of all of their relationships in comparison to the two-year college students, who experienced an increase in partner rape over the course of their relationships. These results suggest that experiences with partner abuse, much like the three groups of young women, are diverse.