Physical injury after sexual assault: findings of a large case series

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Jan;190(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(03)00912-8.


Objective: This study was undertaken to determine characteristics associated with physical injury in female sexual assault victims.

Study design: All females who were 15 years or older presenting after sexual assault to an urban emergency department during a 34-month period underwent standardized evaluation. Analysis was performed by chi(2) and logistic regression.

Results: Of 819 women, 52% had general body and 20% had genital-anal trauma; 41% were without injury. General body trauma was independently associated with being hit or kicked (odds ratio [OR]=7.7, 95% CI, 5.1-11.7), attempted strangulation (OR=4.2, 95% CI, 2.5-7.2), oral or anal penetration (OR=1.7, 95% CI, 1.2-2.3), and stranger (OR=2.4, 95% CI, 1.7-3.4) assault. Genital-anal injury was more frequent in victims younger than 20 and older than 49 years (P<.05), in virgins (OR=2.7, 95% CI, 1.4-5.4) and those examined within 24 hours (OR=1.7, 95% CI, 1.2-2.4) and after anal assault (OR=1.7, 95% CI, 1.1-2.6).

Conclusion: General body injury is primarily associated with situational factors, whereas genital-anal injury is less frequent and related to victim age, virginal status, and time to examination.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anal Canal / injuries
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / injuries
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Violence*
  • Washington / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*