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Sexual violence by intimate partners

Sexual violence by intimate partners deals with the incidence by country of physical abuse, forced sex, or marital rape within the context of domestic violence.


Domestic violence and sexual abuseEdit

Domestic sexual violence, such as forced sex or marital rape, may follow or be part of physical abuse, but is not always the case. In Mexico and the United States, studies estimate that 40–52% of women experiencing physical violence by an intimate partner have also been sexually coerced by that partner.[1][2]

Sexual violence may occur without physical violence.[3] In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in a representative sample of over 6000 men, 7% reported having sexually and physically abused their wives, 22% reported using sexual violence without physical violence and 17% reported that they had used physical violence alone.[4]

Incidence by countryEdit

Studies indicate that sexual assault by an intimate partner is neither rare nor unique to any particular region of the world. For instance, 23% of women in North London, England, reported having been the victim of either an attempted or completed rape by a partner in their lifetime. Similar figures have been reported for Guadalajara, Mexico (23.0%), León, Nicaragua, (21.7%), Lima, Peru (22.5%), and for the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe (25.0%). The prevalence of women sexually assaulted by an intimate partner in their lifetime (including attempted assaults) has also been estimated in a few national surveys (for example, Canada 8.0%, England, Wales and Scotland (combined) 14.2%, Finland 5.9%, Switzerland 11.6% and the United States 7.7%).

The table below summarizes some available data on the prevalence of sexual coercion by intimate partners.

Percentage of adult women reporting sexual assaults by an intimate partner
selected population-based surveys

1989 - 2000

Country Study population Year Sample size Assaulted in the past 12 months attempted or completed sex Ever assaulted attempted or completed forced sex Ever assaulted completed forced sex
Brazil São Paulo 2000 941 2.8% 10.1%
Pernambuco 2000 1188 5.6% 14.3%
Canada[5][6] national 1993 12300 8.0%
Toronto 1991 to 1992 420 15.3%
Chile[7] Santiago 1997 310 9.1%
Finland[8] national 1997 to 1998 7051 2.5% 5.9%
Japan Yokohama 2000 1287 1.3% 6.2%
Indonesia[9] Central Java 1999 to 2000 765 13.0% 22.0%
Mexico[10] Durango 1996 384 42.0%
Guadalajara 1996 650 15.0% 23.0%
Nicaragua[11][12] León 1993 360 21.7%
Managua 1997 378 17.7%
Peru Lima 2000 1086 7.1% 22.5%
Cusco 2000 1534 22.9% 46.7%
Puerto Rico[13] national 1993 to 1996 7079 5.7%
Sweden[14] Umeå 1991 251 7.5%
Switzerland national 1994 to 1995 1500 11.6%
Thailand Bangkok 2000 1 051 17.1% 29.9%
Nakhon Sawan 2000 1027 15.6% 28.9%
Turkey[15] East and south-east Anatolia 1998 599 51.9%
United Kingdom[16][17] England, Scotland and Wales 1989 1007 14.2%
North London 1993 430 6.0% 23.0%
United States[18] national 1995 to 1996 8000 0.2% 7.7%
West Bank and Gaza Strip[19] Palestinians 1995 2410 27.0%
Zimbabwe[20] Midlands Province 1996 966 25.0%

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Campbell JC, Soeken KL. Forced sex and intimate partner violence: effects on women’s risk and women’s health. Violence Against Women, 1999, 5:1017–1035.
  2. ^ Granados Shiroma M.Salud reproductiva y violencia contra la mujer: un ana lisis desde la perspectiva de género. [Reproductive health and violence against women: an analysis from the gender perspective of Nuevo Leon, Asociación Mexicana de Población, Colegio de México, 1996.
  3. ^ Hakimi M et al. Silence for the sake of harmony: domestic violence and women’s health in central Java. Yogyakarta, Gadjah Mada University, 2001.
  4. ^ Martin SL et al. Sexual behaviour and reproductive health outcomes: associations with wife abuse in India. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1999, 282:1967–1972.
  5. ^ Rodgers K. Wife assault: the findings of a national survey. Juristat Service Bulletin, 1994, 14:1–22.
  6. ^ Randall M et al. Sexual violence in women’s lives: findings from the women’s safety project, a community-based survey. Violence Against Women, 1995, 1:6–31.
  7. ^ Gillioz L, DePuy J, Ducret V. Domination et violences envers la femme dans le couple. [Domination and violence against women in the couple.] Lausanne, Payot-Editions, 1997.
  8. ^ Heiskanen M, Piispa M. Faith, hope and battering: a survey of men’s violence against women in Finland. Helsinki, Statistics Finland, 1998.
  9. ^ Hakimi M et al. Silence for the sake of harmony: domestic violence and women’s health in central Java. Yogyakarta, Gadjah Mada University, 2001.
  10. ^ Heise LL, Ellsberg M, Gottemoeller M. Ending violence against women. Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Center for Communications Programs, 1999 (Population Reports, Series L, No.11).
  11. ^ Morrison A et al. The socio-economic impact of domestic violence against women in Chile and Nicaragua. Washington, DC, Inter-American Development Bank, 1997.
  12. ^ Ellsberg MC. Candies in hell: domestic violence against women in Nicaragua. Umea˚, Umea˚ University, 1997.
  13. ^ Puerto Rico: encuesto de salud reproductiva 1995– 1996. [Puerto Rico: reproductive health survey 1995–1996.] San Juan, University of Puerto Rico and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998.
  14. ^ Risberg G, Lundgren E, Westman G. Prevalence of sexualized violence among women: a populationbased study in a primary healthcare district. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 1999, 27:247–253.
  15. ^ Ilkkaracan P et al. Exploring the context of women’s sexuality in Eastern Turkey. Reproductive Health Matters, 1998, 6:66–75.
  16. ^ Painter K, Farrington DP. Marital violence in Great Britain and its relationship to marital and nonmarital rape. International Review of Victimology, 1998, 5:257–276.
  17. ^ Mooney J. The hidden figure: domestic violence in north London. London, Middlesex University, 1993.
  18. ^ Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Full report of the prevalence, incidence and consequences of violence against women: findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington, DC, National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000 (NCJ 183781).
  19. ^ Haj Yahia MM. The incidence of wife abuse and battering and some demographic correlates revealed in two national surveys in Palestinian society. Ramallah, Besir Centre for Research and Development, 1998.
  20. ^ Watts C et al. Withholding sex and forced sex: dimensions of violence against Zimbabwean women. Reproductive Health Matters, 1998, 6:57–65.

External linksEdit

National organizationsEdit

Support organizationsEdit

  • Casualspace, online support group with forums, mobile ready chat rooms, and blogs. Resources and information on several categories pertaining to abuse.
  • After Silence, online support group and forums and chat room for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and their supporters.
  • Pandora's Aquarium, an online support group, message board, and chat room for sexual assault survivors and their supporters.
  • Support for Victims and Their Family, Support for Victims and Their Family

Research and informationEdit