Exploring the victim blaming and self-blame of women who experienced sexual violence or abuse

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Birmingham

Principal Researcher

Jessica Eaton

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2015

Research Context

​This research explores the many factors contributing to and encouraging victim blaming and inducing self blame in women after sexual violence or abuse of all types. The study includes the development and validation of the new psychometric measure of victim blaming called the BOWSVA SCALE (COMPLETED), national interviews of women about experiences of victim blaming from individuals, agencies, authorities and media (COMPLETED); national interviews with professionals working in sexual violence about how to combat victim blaming (COMPLETED) and finally a very large national cross-sectional survey of women to explore victim blaming, self blame and experiences of sexual violence.

Research Methodology

Psychometric measure design and validation (BOWSVA): Sample of 670, factor analysis, reliability and validity testing. This scale is now validated and a handbook is being written for publication.

Interviews of women experiencing sexual violence or abuse: Sample of 30, thematic analysis semi-structured interviews.

Interviews of professionals working in sexual violence or abuse: Sample of 30, thematic analysis, semi-structured interviews.

National survey of women: Sample of over 20,000 anonymous cross sectional online questionnaires.

Interim reports and publications

​For further information visit www.victimfocus.org.uk


Date due for completion

August 2019
Return to Research Map