Rape Empathy Scale (RES)

1. *a) I feel that the situation in which a man compels a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will is an unjustifiable act under any circumstances.
b) I feel that the situation in which a man compels a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will is a justifiable act under certain circumstances.
2. a) In deciding the matter of guilt or innocence in a rape case‚ it is more important to know about the past sexual activity of the alleged rape victim than the past sexual activity of the alleged rapist.
*b) It is more important to know about the past sexual activity of the alleged rapist than the past sexual activity of the alleged rape victim in deciding the matter of guilt or innocence in a rape case.
3. a) In general‚ I feel that rape is an act that is provoked by the rape victim.
*b) In general‚ I feel that rape is an act that is not provoked by the rape victim.
4. a) I would find it easier to imagine how a rapist might feel during an actual rape than how a rape victim might feel.
*b) I would find it easier to imagine how a rape victim might feel during an actual rape than how a rapist might feel.
5. a) Under certain circumstances‚ I can understand why a man would use force to obtain sexual relations with a woman.
*b) I cannot understand why a man would use force to obtain sexual relations with a woman under any circumstances.
6. *a) In a court of law‚ I feel that the rapist must be held accountable for his behavior during the rape.
b) In a court of law‚ I feel that the rape victim must be held accountable for her behavior during the rape.
7. a) When a woman dresses in a sexually attractive way‚ she must be willing to accept the consequences of her behavior‚ whatever they are‚ since she is signaling her interest in ha‎ving sexual relations.
*b) A woman has the right to dress in a sexually attractive way whether she is really interested in ha‎ving sexual relations or not.
8. a) I would find it easier to empathize with the shame and humiliation a rapist might feel during a trial for rape than with the feelings a rape victim might have during the trial.
*b) I wpuld find it easier to empathize with the shame and humiliation a rape victim might feel during a trial to prove rape than with the feelings a rapist might have during the trial.
9. a) If a man rapes a sexually active woman‚ he would probably be justified in his actions
by the fact that she chooses to have sexual relations with other men.
*b) If a man rapes a sexually active woman‚ his actions would not be justified by the factthat she chooses to have sexual relations with other men.
10. a) I believe that all women secretly want to be raped.
*b) I don’t believe that any women secretly want to be raped.
11. a) In deciding whether a rape has occurred or not‚ the burden of proof should rest with the woman‚ who must prove that a rape has actually occurred.
*b) In deciding whether a rape has occurred or not‚ the burden of proof should rest with the man‚ who must prove that a rape has not actually occurred.
12. *a) I believe that it is impossible for a rape victim to enjoy being raped.
b) I believe that it is possible for a rape victim to enjoy the experience of being raped‚ whether she admits it or not.
13. a) I can really empathize with the helplessness a rapist might feel during a rape‚ since
he’s at the mercy of forces beyond his control.
*b) I can really empathize with the helplessness a victim might feel during a rape if all of her attempts to resist the rape have failed.
14. *a) After a rape has occurred‚ I think the woman would suffer more emotional torment in dealing with the police than the man would.
b) After a rape has occurred‚ I think the man would suffer more emotional torment in dealing with the police than the woman would.
15. a) If a rape were interrupted‚ I think the victim would feel more embarrassment than the rapist.
b) If a rape were interrupted‚ I think the rapist would feel more embarrassment than the rape victim.
16. a) I feel it is impossible for a man to rape a woman unless she is willing.
*b) I feel it is possible for a man to rape a woman against her will.
17. *a) If a rape trial were publicized in the press‚ I feel the rape victim would suffer more emotional trauma from the publicity than the rapist.
b) If a rape trial were publicized in the press‚ I feel the rapist would suffer more emotional trauma from the publicity than the rape victim.
18. a) Once a couple has had sexual intercourse‚ then that issue is resolved and it is no longer possible for that man to rape that woman.
*b) Even if a couple has had sexual intercourse before‚ if the man forces the woman to have sexual intercourse with him against her will‚ this should be considered rape.
19. *a) I can understand a wife’s humiliation and anger if her husband forced her to have sexual relations with him.
b) A husband has every right to determine when sexual relations with his wife occur‚ even if it means forcing her to have sex with him.
20. *a) If I were a member of the jury in a rape trial‚ I would probably be more likely to believe the woman’s testimony than the man’s‚ since it takes a lot of courage on the woman’s part to accuse the man of rape.
b) If I were a member of the jury in a rape trial‚ I would probably be more likely to believe the man’s testimony than the woman’s‚ since rape is a ch‎arge that is difficult to defend against‚ even if the man is innocent.
Note. Item 15 was eliminated from the final version of the scale. An asterisk denotes the victim empathic statement within each item.
 
  • Rape
  • victim
 
This instrument can be found on pages 29-31 of Measures for the assessment of dimensions of violence against women: A compendium Compiled by Michael Flood‚ available online at: http://www.svri.org/measures.pdf
 
 
Strongly agree (1) to stronglyto disagree (6)
 

Deitz‚ S.‚ Blackwell‚ K.T.‚ Daley‚ P.C.‚ & Bentley‚ B.J. (1982). Measurement ofempathy toward rape victims and rapists. Journal of Personality andSocial Psychology‚ 43(2)‚ August‚ 372-384.