Sexual violence occurs throughout the world, although in most countries there has been little research conducted on the problem. Due to the private nature of sexual violence, estimating the extent of the problem is difficult. Research in South Africa and Tanzania suggests that nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner, and up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced.
Sexual violence has a profound impact on physical and mental health. As well as causing physical injury, it is associated with an increased risk of a range of sexual and reproductive health problems, with both immediate and long-term consequences. Its impact on mental health can be as serious as its physical impact, and may be equally long lasting. Deaths following sexual violence may be as a result of suicide, HIV infection or murder – the latter occurring either during a sexual assault or subsequently, as a murder of ‘‘honour’’. Sexual violence can also profoundly affect the social wellbeing of victims; individuals may be stigmatized and ostracized by their families and others as a consequence.
Coerced sex may result in sexual gratification on the part of the perpetrator, though its underlying purpose is frequently the expression of power and dominance over the person assaulted. Often, people who coerce their spouses into sexual acts believe their actions are legitimate because they are married. Rape of women and of men is often used as a weapon of war, as a form of attack on the enemy, typifying the conquest and degradation of its women or men or captured male or female fighters. It may also be used to punish people for transgressing social or moral codes, for instance, those prohibiting adultery or drunkenness in public. Women and men may also be raped when in police custody or in prison.
Read more about Sexual Violence: Definition of Sexual Violence, The Extent of The Problem, Factors Associated With Being A Victim of Sexual Violence, Factors Increasing Men's Risk of Committing Rape, The Consequences of Sexual Violence, What Is Being Done To Prevent Sexual Violence
Famous quotes containing the word violence:
“The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)