Friday, July 23, 2004
This presentation is part of : Women and Violence
Intimate Partner Sexual Assault: Health Consequences for Women and Children
Judith McFarlane, DrPH and Ann Malecha, PhD. College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, Texas, USA
Learning Objective #1: Evaluate the consequences of intimate partner rape on women’s health and child functioning
Learning Objective #2: Consider strategies for intimate partner sexual assault assessment and treatment within a variety of community health agencies

A cohort of 150 physically abused Hispanic, African American, and white women were followed for two years. Two women died during the two year study. The remaining 148 women completed six interviews. Most Hispanic women were first generation immigrants from Mexico and did not speak English. Sexual assault was defined as forced vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Scored instruments measured frequency and severity of violence and norm referenced instruments measured health indices of depression, post traumatic stress syndrome and suicidality for both sexually abused and not-assaulted women. Aggressive and depressive behaviors of children of sexually assaulted mothers were compared to behaviors of children of physically abused but not sexually assaulted mothers. Among the 148 women who completed the two year study, 68% reported sexual assault. Most (79%) of the sexually assaulted women reported multiple rapes. The women sought help in a variety of ways. The most common person with whom the women shared the rape was a friend or family member. Only 10% of the women received medical care following the sexual assault and fewer received counseling. Scores on depression, post traumatic stress, and suicidality will be presented at the conference as well as patterns of sexual decision making and behavior problems of the children of sexually assaulted women compared to non-sexually assaulted but physically abused mothers. Intimate partner sexual assault is frequent and severe among physically abused women with associated elevated levels of violence, risk factors for femicide, depression and suicidality. Although sexually abused women seek justice and health services, many do not receive the services requested. Health assessment and treatment strategies for intimate partner sexual assault will be discussed.

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Back to 15th International Nursing Research Congress
Sigma Theta Tau International
July 22-24, 2004