One hundred and fifty women who attended the routine genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) between August 1993 and February 1994 completed a questionnaire enquiring into a past history of sexual assault. Of these, 52 (34.7%) confirmed that they had been assaulted previously, 18 below the age of 16, 22 after this age and 12 in both age groups. Non penetrative abuse was most common in those violated as minors and vaginal penetration in women assaulted over the age of 16. The strongest demographic indicator for sexual abuse among this study group was that of a current divorced/separated marital status. Assailants of minors were most likely to be someone known to the family whereas male intimates accounted for a third of assaults on older women. Sexual dysfunction was acknowledged by approximately half of those previously assaulted as a sequelae of abuse. It is important that GUM physicians remain alert for sequelae of sexual abuse and offer services appropriate to the victim's needs.