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Multiple Perpetrator Sexual Assault: How Does It Differ From Assault by a Single Perpetrator?

Louise Morgan, Bernadette Brittain & Jan Welch.

Journal of Interpersonal Violence; 2012;27, 2415-2436.



Research that attempts to identify characteristic features of multiple perpetrator sexual assault (MPSA) is limited. This study compared demographic and assault related characteristics of 135 cases of MPSA with 139 cases of single perpetrator sexual assault (SPSA) reported to the Haven sexual assault referral centre, Camberwell, London, over a 4-year period, and aimed to identify any unique features of MPSA victims, perpetrators and assault type. Victims of MPSA were younger, less likely to be White, more likely to report previous self-harm and more likely to sustain injuries than victims of SPSA. Multiple perpetrators were younger, less likely to be White and more likely to be strangers to the victim than single perpetrators. The nature of the assault was different in single and multiple perpetrator cases; in MPSA, there were more completed rapes and more multiple rapes, and perpetrators were more likely to meet the victim in an outside location before carrying out the assault in a place of residence that was not the victim's. These findings add to a scant but growing evidence base.



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