Care-seeking behavior by survivors of sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Am J Public Health. 2011 Jun;101(6):1054-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300045. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


In February 2008, trained female interviewers collected data on sexual violence and use of medical services following sexual assault from 607 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Exposure to sexual violence during the DRC's civil war was reported by 17.8% of the women; 4.8% of the women reported exposure to sexual violence after the war. Few sexual-assault survivors accessed timely medical care. Facility assessments showed that this care was rarely available. Clinical care for sexual-assault survivors must be integrated into primary health care for DRC women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Time Factors
  • Violence
  • Warfare
  • Young Adult