Increased attendance rates and altered characteristics of sexual violence.
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Gudjonsdottir, Gudlaug R
Valdimarsdottir, Unnur A
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CitationActa Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. 2012, 91(1):134-42
AbstractOBJECTIVE: To study the attendance rates and characteristics of sexual violence presented at emergency services for rape victims, over a 10-year period. DESIGN: Incidence study. SETTING: Rape Trauma Service, within an emergency department at a tertiary referral university hospital. POPULATION. The total female population in Iceland. METHODS: Medical records on visits were reviewed and systematically coded. Annual attendance rates were calculated over time as number of visits per 10 000 female inhabitants aged 13-49 years. Characteristics of sexual violence, perpetrators and victims were compared between 1998-2002 and 2003-2007. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual attendance rates and characteristics of sexual violence. RESULTS: Of 1153 visits, 828 (71.8%) were due to severe sexual violence (penetration). Annual attendance rates of all sexual violence increased from 12.5 to 16.9 per 10 000 women aged 13-49 (p<0.01). Attendance rates due to severe sexual violence increased specifically among women aged 18-25 (p<0.01). The proportion of assaults involving multiple perpetrators increased from 13.9% in 1998-2002 to 18.9% in 2003-2007 (p=0.05). With time, a higher proportion of victims had seriously impaired consciousness due to alcohol consumption (p<0.01) and had used illegal drugs prior to assault (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The findings point towards an increase in women's visits to specialized emergency services for rape victims, particularly in the age group 18-25 years. The increased role of multiple perpetrators, alcohol and illicit drugs in sexual violence calls for further attention.
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RightsArchived with thanks to Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
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