Factors that correlate with injury sustained by survivors of sexual assault

Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Jul;70(1):44-6.


A retrospective study of 440 cases of reported sexual assault was undertaken in order to identify factors that correlated with which victims sustained physical injury. Overall, 40% sustained nongenital and 16% genital injury, but most injuries were not severe. Which victim was injured strongly correlated with her age and race, the race of her assailant, and whether he had a weapon. White victims sustained both genital and nongenital injury almost twice as often as black victims. Whether she knew her assailant was less important, unless the victim was a child. Survivors attacked by a single assailant were injured as often as survivors of a "gang rape." Conclusions drawn from these data must take into account that these victims choose to report the event to the authorities, and self-reporting bias might explain some of the findings. Approximately half the victims seen sustained no injury. Apparently, physical injury is not a inevitable consequence of being raped.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Rape*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tennessee
  • White People
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*