Relationship between Sexual Violence and the Health of Spanish Women-A National Population-Based Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 14;20(4):3365. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043365.


Background: Health consequences are likely to be different when sexual violence is analysed independently from other types of violence. It is also likely that different health consequences will result in the cases of partner or ex-partner sexual violence, non-partner sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Methods: This study is based on the 2019 Macro-survey of Violence against Women conducted by the Spanish Ministry of Equality on a sample of 9568 women aged 16 years or older. Odds ratios were calculated, and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed.

Results: The present study estimates that 4 out of 10 surveyed women had experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual harassment is the most frequently reported form of this violence, while intimate partner sexual violence is the form with the most unfavourable sociodemographic characteristics and the worst health impact indicators, such as a greater likelihood of suicidal behaviour.

Conclusions: Sexual violence is a widespread, under-studied problem with negative health impacts. Women exposed to intimate partner violence are the most vulnerable and at risk. It is advised that responses and comprehensive care plans be developed that place special emphasis on the protection of victims' mental health.

Keywords: Spain; cross-sectional survey; health status; sexual harassment; sexual violence; suicidal ideation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Sexual Harassment*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Violence

Grants and funding

This article received support from the CIBERESP (group 50. CB06/02/1021).