Rape in the context of intimate partner violence

Date
2002-08
Authors
Schultz, Pamela
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Abstract

Violence against women has become a major social problem in the United States (Crowell & Burgess, 1996; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). While violence against women describes several violent acts, this study focused on intimate partner violence in which the violence was perpetrated against the woman in the form of rape. The relationship between rape by an intimate partner and other forms of intimate partner abuse is unclear. This study examined the association of threats of physical abuse, actual physical abuse, danger of homicide and stalking to the reporting of intimate partner rape. The target population was all abused women presenting to either the police department or the district attorney’s office for justice intervention during a one-month period. This sample included 306 physically abused English-speaking women, 18 years or older. The profile of the abused woman in this study who has been raped is different from the woman not raped by her intimate partner. This study has shown the health effects of sexual violence, such as increased physical violence, increased risk of homicide, increased risk of suicide and other mental health effects through association with suicidal behaviors. This study suggested that social factors such as a history of other types of violence and substance abuse may be associated with increased sexual abuse by male intimate partners. The health of women is undermined by this behavior. Society can not function well under the domination of abusive male behavior directed at women.

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Keywords
Health and environmental sciences, Intimate partner violence, Rape, Suicide, Violence
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