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Journal Article

Citation

Oberg M, Skalkidou A, Heimer G, Lucas S. Scand. J. Public Health 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2020, Associations of Public Health in the Nordic Countries Regions, Publisher SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/1403494820939015

PMID

32720565

Abstract

Aims: This cross-sectional, population-based study aimed to investigate the prevalence of violence polyvictimization during childhood and sexual violence in adulthood among women, and how childhood violence exposure and sociodemographic factors associate with women's risk of experiencing sexual violence in adulthood.

METHODS: A survey regarding lifetime experiences of sexual, physical and psychological violence was sent to a national sample of 10,000 women aged 18-74 years, of which 56% participated. Data were analysed using Chi-square analyses and logistic regression.

RESULTS: Sexual violence before 18 years of age was reported by 16.3% and rape/attempted rape in adulthood by 10.2% of the women. In univariate analyses, sexual, physical, and psychological violence during childhood was associated with rape/attempted rape in adulthood (odds ratio 4.5, confidence interval 3.2-6.2; odds ratio 2.5, confidence interval 1.3-4.6; and odds ratio 2.5, confidence interval 1.8-3.2, respectively). Associations were stronger for combined exposure to sexual and physical (odds ratio 5.5, confidence interval 2.5-12.3), sexual and psychological (odds ratio 9.2, confidence interval 6.7-12.8) or sexual, physical, and psychological violence (odds ratio 14.1, confidence interval 10.4-19.2) during childhood. Rape/attempted rape after 18 years of age was more common among women who were single, those with college-level education and those who had been unemployed or had received social welfare payments. Most associations remained relatively unchanged when including all exposure and background variables in multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Although several of the sociodemographic factors studied showed significant associations, multiple exposure to violence during childhood was found to be the most potent risk factor for sexual violence in adulthood among adult women.


Language: en

Keywords

Sexual violence; child sexual abuse; physical violence; polyvictimization; psychological violence; revictimization

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