The effects of domestic violence on the physical, mental and sexual health of women are a subject of increasing concern. This is particularly true of sexual abuse, of which only very few women dare even speak and accuse. The aim of our study is to characterize domestic sexual violence among patients treated in our service.
Our study included all women who consulted for domestic violence over a period of 12 months. Of the 200 victims of domestic violence, eight were victims of associated sexual violence.
The patients' ages ranged from 20 to 48 years. Only 10 women had jobs outside of their homes. In all cases, the aggressor was the male partner, suffering from substance abuse in 27 cases and with a criminal history in 14 cases (theft, abuse, assault and injuries…). Violence consisted primarily of imposed anal penetration in all the cases. Associated physical violence was noted in 23 cases. The medical examination confirmed injuries consistent with the reported anal violence in five cases.
In our sociocultural context, it is difficult to determine the extent of domestic sexual abuse. The subject is still taboo and forced sex is not always recognized as violence. This is also reflected in case-law which refuses to recognize the reality of rape between husband and wife.