Attitudes Towards Survivors of Sexual Violence

The Attitudes Towards Female Survivors of Sexual Violence Scale is a 16-item measure of the dimensions and correlates of attitudes toward survivors of sexual violence. The scale measures attitudes along the four dimensions of victim responsibility, victim denigration, victim credibility, and deservingness. The scale is derived from the Attitudes toward Rape Victim Scale (ARVS).


Geographies Tested: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Victim responsibility
1. Women who dress in short skirts are more likely to be raped.
2. Women who wear suggestive outfits are more likely to be raped.
3. Beautiful women are more likely to be raped.
4. It is up to the woman to protect herself from rape.

5. Survivors of sexual violence should be ashamed of themselves.
6. A man whose wife has been raped should be ashamed of himself.
7. It will be very difficult for a young woman who has been raped to find a husband.
8. A raped woman is no longer desirable.
9. Female victims of sexual violence are promiscuous.

Victim credibility
10. Often, women lie that they were raped just to force the man into making reparation.
11. Women often lie that they have been raped when they realize that they are pregnant.

12. Most times, when a woman is raped, it is because she deserves it.
13. Any woman can become a victim of rape.*
14. In general, a raped woman is an innocent victim.*
15. The rape of a family member is sign that the men in the family have failed to protect their own.
16. Most women desire to be raped.

Response Options:
Disagree - 0
Neutral - 1
Agree - 3

*Items are reverse scored

Scoring Procedures

Items area summed to create a total scale score ranging from 0 to 32. Higher scores denote less-favorable attitudes toward survivors.

Original Citation

Babalola, S. O. (2014). Dimensions and correlates of negative attitudes toward female survivors of sexual violence in Eastern DRC. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(9), 1679-1697.

Psychometric Score

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



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