The socio-demographics and psychiatric diagnoses in a clinical sample of women with a history of mainly intrafamilial childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are described. The women were referred to five psychiatric centres for incest group psychotherapy. Data were gathered using interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Over a period of 2.5 years, 385 women with mean age of 33 years were referred with a history of CSA. Three hundred and forty of those had experienced intrafamilial CSA. The average age at first abuse was 6.8 years, and it lasted for a mean of 6 years. The women had been abused by a mean of 1.5 perpetrators. A quarter of the women had been subjected to violence in connection with the sexual abuse. The likelihood of violence having occurred rose significantly if there was more than one perpetrator and/or if penetration had been part of the sexual abuse. Violence was less common if the perpetrator was a brother. The women suffered from a broad spectrum of psychiatric symptoms and illnesses. More than half of the women had previously received psychiatric treatment. Compared to a random sample of the general female population, these women were less advantaged with regards to education, financial circumstances and cohabitation. The results emphasize the importance of offering comprehensive social and psychiatric intervention to help reducing the problems following CSA in women.
|Tidsskrift||Nordic Journal of Psychiatry|
|Status||Udgivet - 2007|