Psychology: Sex victims do see danger signs

Women who suffer repeated sexual assaults are no worse at reading danger signals than anyone else, according to a new study.

The results puzzled researchers who suspected that missing dating danger cues might be why some women are more likely than others to be assaulted. It is known that women who have been sexually assaulted in the past are more likely to be victimised in the future, and the most obvious explanation is that they consistently fail to read warning signs that enable other women to stay out of danger. But Kim Breitenbecher, author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University, said: "Women who have been sexually assaulted don't appear to have trouble knowing when they may be in danger." She told the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Chicago: "The results of this investigation, taken together with previous research in the area, suggest that we still don't understand why sexual re-victimisation occurs."