Module I: Defining Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse and Assessing its Prevalence
Key Points: Defining Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse and Assessing its Prevalence
- What Is Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse?
- Intimate partner sexual abuse encompasses a wide range of coerced sexual activity beyond marital rape alone.
- Intimate partner sexual abuse includes degrading behavior related to sex, control and possessiveness, forced sex acts, "apologizing" after a battering incident by coercing sex, and sexual torture.
- Extortion and using children to harm their mothers are other mechanisms of control frequently employed by sexually abusive partners.
- Pregnancy places women at high risk for sexual as well as physical assault.
- How Prevalent is Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse?
- The rate of overlap between sexual and physical violence is so high that sexual abuse and intimate partner sexual abuse must be considered integral to domestic violence.
- In a large-scale study of abusive men, 53% acknowledged conduct that met the legal definition of rape or sexual assault, but only 8% labeled their conduct as sexual abuse.
- In studies of abused women, 45-70% of these women report sexual as well as physical abuse.
- Victims of intimate partner sexual abuse typically experience repeated rapes over the course of the relationship.
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