Health effects of experiences of sexual violence for women with abusive partners

Health Care Women Int. 1995 Nov-Dec;16(6):563-76. doi: 10.1080/07399339509516210.


We assessed the incidence of sexual violence, physical violence, physical health symptoms, gynecological symptoms, and risk behaviors for contracting an STD or HIV infection in women who had used a shelter for women with abusive partners. In addition, we investigated the relationships between sexual violence and the frequency of physical health symptoms, including specific gynecological symptoms. Results indicated that one fourth of the women interviewed had experienced sexual violence and nearly two thirds of the women had experienced physical violence in the past 6 months. The incidence of physical health symptoms, gynecological symptoms, and risk behaviors for exposure to STDs and HIV infection are presented. The correlations among sexual violence, physical violence, and experiences of physical health symptoms are also reported. This study is particularly valuable because previous research has not documented the relationship between sexual violence and physical health symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*