Relationship effects on the modus operandi and motivation of the offender in Swedish rape cases

Abstract

Swedish rape cases that occurred during the years of 1998 to 2006 were selected to examine different rape patterns depending on the relationship between the offender and the victim. Five relationship categories were used: Stranger, Acquaintance, Friend, Partner, and Ex-Partner. These categories were used in the coding of the binary variables based on the offender’s behaviour in the police reports. The variables and relationship categories were analyzed and related with the use of Multidimensional Scaling (MDS). Furthermore, exploratory study of the behaviour of the rapist regardless of relationship category was carried out. The results based on the separate MDSs indicate that differences in motivation behind the rape were associated within the type of relationship between the offender and the victim. Acquaintance rapes might be motivated by the offender’s sexual need, partner rapes by sexual need, control and sadism. Ex- partner offenders may try to win back their former partner with the use of sex or rape as a form of control.

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