Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences
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Sexual Violence among Married Women: Burden and Action Taken

Author(s): Shakuntala Chhabra, Anu Namgyal, Swati Tyagi

Background: Sexual violence (SV) is a public health concern world‑wide. The present study used World Health Organization definition “SV is serious public health human rights problem with short‑ and long‑term consequences on women’s physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health. Whether SV occurs in context of intimate partnership, within larger family or community structure, or during times of conflict, it is deeply violating painful experience for survivor.” Aim: The present study was aimed to look into magnitude of SV among married women. Subjects and Methods: It was cross‑sectional study conducted in Rural Institution of Central India. The study subjects were married women, who reported to gynecological out‑patient for some ailments or friends or relatives of patients, mostly from villages. They were interviewed in an area with privacy with pre‑designed questionnaire in local language by social worker and their answers were recorded. Informed consent was obtained and confidentiality was assured. Results: Of 2000 interviewed, 675 (34.7%) had suffered SV. One hundred thirty six (7% interviewed, 20.2% sufferers), reported they were forced to have sex with person other than husbands. Eighteen (1.4%) reported sexual advances made toward them at work places. Thirty‑four (5% of 675) had been forced by their own husbands and/or family members to have sex with other persons, 4 (0.6%) forced to have sex with husbands against their wishes, 373 (55.3%) were subjected to hurting sex, 232 (34.4%) to unusual sex, 26 (3.9%) others were dissatisfied for other reasons. Of all sufferers, 5.3% had reported to police, 451 (61.5%) not spoken to anyone. Most had not sought medical services. Consumption of alcohol/drugs, poverty were reported risk factors. Conclusion: Women continue to suffer SV irrespective of economic class, education. For prevention, broader coalition between communities health services is needed by integration into reproductive health services. Providers need to be trained to support sufferer, women need to be aware of services.

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