CHARACTERISTICS OF 19 VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Author: Dr. Jaqueline Brendler
This study is aimed at examining a universe of 114 women treated for sexual dysfunction and verifying the incidence and the characteristics of episodes of sexual violence they have undergone.
Out of that universe, 19 women - or 16.66% of the sample - were found to have been victims of sexual violence. Those 19 women were victims of 30 sexual aggressors, that is to say that 52.63% of them were victims of a single aggressor and 47.36% were victims of more than one aggressor.
36.84% were diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire and orgasmic dysfunction, and 26.31% were diagnosed with vaginismus; 47.36% had full college education and 15.78% had partial college education; 10.52% had completed primary and secondary education.
The average age for seeking treatment was 30 years and 6 months of age, ranging from 18 to 49 years of age; 47.36% were married; 31.57% were single with a boyfriend, 10.52% were separated; and 5.26% of the sample were widows and single women without a boyfriend.
Indecent assault made up 86.66% of violence events, and rapes were 13.33%.
The average age when sexual violence took place was 11 years and 1 month. The average age when indecent assault occurred was 10 years and 2 months, and when rape occurred it was 19 years and 7 months.
At the time of the sexual violence, 73.68% were living with their original families and 21.05% were not.
As for sexual aggressors, they were found to be uncles in 15.38%; brothers-in-law in 13.33%; brothers and neighbours in 11.53%; cousins with the 'gang', mother's boyfriend, or father's employee in 7.69%; father, godfather, cousin, tenant of mother's boarding house and acquaintances in 3.84%; strangers in 10%.
Most victims (66.66%) did not tell their families about the sexual violence episode; only 33.33% did, of which 21.05% received immediate support, which took long for 5.26% and was denied to 26.31%. For 36.84% of those who told, the fact did not become public. One patient underwent 3 violence episodes, all of which were public; the father of another one was known as an 'incest perpetrator' in town.
The average duration of their relationship was 7 years and 4 months; 41.17 % of partners are aware of the sexual violence episodes and 58.82% were not. Two of them, or 10.52%, had no sex partner.
At the beginning of therapy, only 5.26% of them had good self-esteem and 94.73% had low self-esteem.
Conclusions: 1* The most frequent type of sexual violence in women with sexual dysfunction seen in that private clinic, within this sample, is indecent assault. 2* For victims of sexual violence who have sexual dysfunction, we should look into 'more than one sexual aggressor'. 3* Most episodes of sexual violence were carried out by family members. 4* Another group of possible sexual aggressors are people who frequent the victim's residence. 5* 100% of rapes were carried out by non-related aggressors, victims were older, and there was use of physical force.
Conclusions: 3* and 5* are reported, respectively, in Gold S. N. et all. Child Abuse Negl: 22 (10): 1005-12, 1988, and Fischer D. G; McDonald W. L. Child Abuse Negl: 22 (9): 915-29, 1998.
Annals of the 3rd Rio Grande do Sul State Meeting on Human Sexuality and the 3rd Southern Brazilian Seminar on Sexual Education, May 25-27, 2000, Porto Alegre, Brazil, page 36.