Articles: Essential Reading

Abuse and Women with Disabilities

By Margaret Nosek & Carol Howland (VAWnetFebruary 1998) This article highlights the prevalence of violence against women with disabilities, examines abuse interventions for women with disabilities, and offers a critique of studies on abuse and disability. The authors also provide recommendations for research and program development.

Abuses Endured by a Woman During Her Life Cycle

By the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (VAWnet 2000) This article describes the violence that may happen throughout the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander women during the life stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and later life. "The lives of abused Asian and Pacific Islander women are shadowed by the cultural burdens of shame and devaluation. These abuses are experienced in the context of additional oppressions based on race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, type of labor being performed, level of education, class position, disability, or immigration/refugee status."

Advances in understanding and treating childhood sexual abuse: implications for research and policy

.By Johnson RJ. Fam Community Health; 31(1): S24-31. 2008: The purpose of this article is to explore advances that have been made in understanding and treating child sexual abuse, to look at the implications for further research, and to address the public health policies that exist for preventing child sexual abuse.

Adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors associated with intimate partner violence

.2005. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep; 57(5): 113-7. 2008: To gather additional information regarding the prevalence of IPV and to assess the association between IPV and selected adverse health conditions and health risk behaviors, CDC included IPV-related questions in an optional module of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey.

An estimate of the proportion of drug-facilitation of sexual assault in four U.S. localities

J Forensic Sci; 52(6): 1396-400. 2007: In recent years, drugs including flunitrazepam, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, ketamine, and ethanol, have become popularly associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault. Other drugs are also candidates as factors in "drug facilitated sexual assault" (DFSA). The true extent of DFSA is not known, and is difficult to estimate

A new experimental method assessing attitudes toward adolescent dating and sibling violence using observations of violent interactions

J Adolesc 2007: The present study provides experimental data comparing emerging adults' attitudes toward dating and sibling violence in adolescence using a new methodology in which participants observe a violent interaction between adolescents.

An Unusual Case of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Using Aromatic Solvents

ByMartinez MA, Ballesteros S. J Anal Toxicol. 2006 Sep-Oct;30(7):449-53. Thisarticle documents a case of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) under the influence of solvents. The victim was a 13-year-old female. Upon contact with law enforcement, she was still confused and could hardly explain the facts. She told authorities that she had been kidnapped 4 h previously when two individuals with covered faces put a cloth soaked in a solvent over her mouth. She spent a few hours in a room, during which she lost consciousness. The girl awakened semi-nude in the street with memory loss. No alcohol was present in the subject's body; no odor of alcohol was detected on the subject's breath. No lesions were observed during a gynecological exam. We want to alert other toxicologists about new or unexpected products that should be taken into account when the surreptitious use of substances in DFSA is suspected. PMID: 16959137

Childhood adversity: a review of measurement instruments

By Burgermeister D. J Nurs Meas; 15(3): 163-76. 2007: The purpose of this review was to locate, describe, and assess instruments to measure retrospective perceptions of childhood adversity.

Childhood Sex Abuse Increases Risk for Drug Dependence in Adult Women.

By Patrick Zickler, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2002: The article briefly discusses the data results gathered from interviews of women revealing that those who experienced any type of sexual abuse in their childhood were roughly three times more likely than unabused girls to report drug dependence as adults.

Correlates of Medical and Legal Help Seeking among Women Reporting Intimate Partner Violence

By Duterte EE, Bonomi AE, Kernic MA, Schiff MA, Thompson RS, Rivara FP. J Womens Health (Liebert); 17(1): 85-95. 2008: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) type, severity, and duration and abused women's use of medical and legal services.

Costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States

Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2003:Recognizing the need to better measure both the scope of the problem of intimate partner violence (IPV) as well as resulting economic costs—in particular, those related to health care—Congress funded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a study to obtain national estimates of the occurrence of IPV-related injuries, to estimate their costs to the health care system, and to recommend strategies to prevent IPV and its consequences.

Confronting the Sexual Abuse of Women with Disabilities

By R. Amy Elman (VAWnet January, 2005) Thisarticle provides a brief summary of the research on sexual abuse of women with disabilities. The document covers the origins of our knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of women with disabilities, the methodological quandaries related to sexual abuse research in general and the data on women with disabilities and the men who abuse them, and concludes with an exploration of the efforts of women with disabilities and their allies to counter sexual abuse.

Descriptive Analysis of Sexual Assault Incidents Reported to Alaska State Troopers: 2003-2004

By Greg Postle, André B. Rosay, Darryl S. Wood, and Katherine TePas. Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. 2007: This study examines the characteristics of sexual assault and sexual abuse of minor incidents reported to the Alaska State Troopers, providing the first statewide overview of such cases.

Detecting intimate partner violence during pregnancy: awareness-raising indicators for use by primary healthcare professionals

By Reichenheim ME, Patricio TF, Moraes CL. Public Health 2008: The aim of this study is to make the identification of those subgroups of pregnant women most likely to be living in IPV situations both practical and simple.

Defining patterns of genital injury from sexual assault: a review

By Sommers MS.,Trauma Violence Abuse. 2007 Jul;8(3):270-80. The forensic examination following rape has two primary purposes: to provide health care and to collect evidence. Physical injuries need treatment so that they heal without adverse consequences. The pattern of injuries also has a forensic significance in that injuries are linked to the outcome of legal proceedings. This literature review investigates the variables related to genital injury prevalence and location that are reported in a series of retrospective reviews of medical records. The author builds the case that the prevalence and location of genital injury provide only a partial description of the nature of genital trauma associated with sexual assault and suggests a multidimensional definition of genital injury pattern. Several of the cited studies indicate that new avenues of investigation, such as refined measurement strategies for injury severity and skin color, may lead to advancements in health care, forensic, and criminal justice science.PMID: 17596344

Development of an Automated System to Detect Sprematozoa on Laboratory Sllides to Increase Productivity in the Analysis of Sexual Assault Cases.

By Wnedy P. Alger, B.S., Trisha Conti, Ph.D. and Eric Buel, Ph.D.  NIJ funded research project to determine a method for quick and accurate screening of slides for sperm, in an attempt to decrease turn around time for seuxal assault cases. 

DNA Evidence in Rape Cases and the Debbie Smith Act: Forensic Practice and Criminal Justice Implications

By Telsavaara TV, Arrigo BA.Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2006 Oct;50(5):487-505. PMID: 16943376 The Debbie Smith or "Justice for All" Act was passed on November 1, 2004. The act addresses the problem of collecting and analyzing DNA evidence from backlogged rape kits sitting in crime laboratories around the country. Presently, no empirical data exist by which to assess the soundness of the legislation. However, the act clearly affects discrete operations within the forensic and criminal justice systems. This article explores the relative merits of the Debbie Smith law, highlighting changes in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs, law enforcement, court administration, correctional treatment, and juvenile justice practices. Concerns linked to the likely impact of the "Justice for All" Act raise significant questions about its overall programmatic utility and treatment efficacy. PMID: 16943376

Drug-facilitated, Incapacitated, and Forcible Rape: A National Study

By Dean Kilpatrick, Heidi Resnick, Kenneth Ruggiero, Lauren M. Conoscenti, & Jenna McCauley, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, 2007: This study provides important information regarding the lifetime prevalence, past year prevalence, characteristics, and mental health impact of rape among adult women residing in U.S. households as well as among U.S. female college students.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault: educating women about the risks.

By Elliott SM. Nurs Womens Health; 12(1): 30-7. 2008: "Andrea," an 18-year-old college freshman, walked into her first fraternity party with a few of her sorority sisters.

Excellence in Forensic Practice: A Clinical Ladder Model For Recruiting and Retaining Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

(SANEs) By Valerie Sievers, MSN, RN, CNS, and Sharon Stinson, RN, BS, Colorado Springs, Colo Journal of Emergency Nursing. 2002 April. The clinical ladder Model provides five levels of an assigned salary scale aimed at dealing with the challenging frequently discussed problem of retaining experienced forensic nurses in programs.

Forensic Evidence Collection and the Care of the Sexual Assault Survivor: The SANE-SART Response

By Linda Ledray, Violence Against Women On line resource (VAWNET, 2001) This article discusses the components of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) model. It describes the efficacy of the SART model as well as then going in to detail about the SANE program operation. These details include the medical forensic examination process.

Genital injuries in women reporting sexual assault

By Cheryn M. Palmer, Anna M. McNulty, Catherine D'Este and Basil Donovan The likelihood of genital injury following sexual assault remains unclear. Genital injury related to sexual assault is often an issue in court proceedings, with the expectation that injuries will be found in 'genuine' cases. Conviction rates are higher when the complainant has genital injuries. Objectives: To determine the type, frequency and severity of genital and non-genital injuries of women following alleged sexual assault and, in addition, to determine factors associated with the presence of injuries.Theconclusions of the study were that the presence of genital injury should not be required to validate an allegation of sexual assault, particularly in the absence of non-genital injuries.

Gynecological Health Impact of Sexual Assault

By Campbell R, Lichty LF, Sturza M, Raja S. Res Nurs Health. 2006 Sep 14;29(5):399-413 This article details a study which examined the relationship between sexual assault and gynecological health symptoms (e.g., pelvic pain, painful intercourse) in a sample of predominately African American female veterans. Those who had been sexually victimized experienced significantly more frequent gynecological health symptoms than those who had not been assaulted. Multiple forced penetrations, assault by an intimate partner, having weapons used, physical injury, belief that the victim's life was in danger during the assault, and serving in the military at the time of assault increased the likelihood of reporting particular gynecological health symptoms. Screening women in health care settings for a history of violence can link women to resources and treatment for assault-related health symptoms. PMID: 16977640

Healing of nonhymenal genital injuries in prepubertal and adolescent girls: a descriptive study

By McCann J, Miyamoto S, Boyle C, Rogers K., 2007 Nov;120(5):1000-11. Thepurpose of this study was to identify the healing process and outcome of nonhymenal injuries in prepubertal and pubertal girls. This study was aretrospective project that used photographs to document the healing process and outcome of nonhymenal genital injuries in 239 prepubertal and pubertal girls whose ages ranged from 4 months to 18 years. The genital injuries sustained by the 113 prepubertal girls consisted of 21 accidental or noninflicted injuries, 73 injuries secondary to abuse, and 19 injuries of unknown cause. All 126 pubertal girls were sexual assault victims. These nonhymenal genital injuries healed at various rates depending on the type and severity There was no statistical difference in the rate of healing between the 2 groups. The majority of these nonhymenal genital injuries healed with little or no evidence of previous trauma. The time required for resolution varied by type, location, and severity. PMID: 17974737

Health Care Utilization and Costs Associated with Childhood Abuse

By Bonomi AE, Anderson ML, Rivara FP, Cannon EA, Fishman PA, Carrell D, Reid RJ, Thompson RS. J Gen Intern Med 2008: Child abuse is associated with long-term elevated health care use and costs, particularly for women who suffer both physical and sexual abuse.


 Implementation of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Practitioner Evaluation Toolkit

By Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., Stephanie Townsend, Ph.D,  Deborah Bybee, Ph.D., Jessica L. Shaw, M.A., Jenifer Markowitz, N.D., R.N.  The purpose of this project was to conduct an implementation evaluation of the SANE Practitioner Evaluation Toolkit. We selected six SANE programs (two rural, two mid?sized, and two urban) and provided comprehensive technical assistance to help these programs work through the steps in the Toolkit so that they could evaluate whether their programs were having a beneficial impact on prosecution rates. Evaluation results for the six selected sites were remarkably similar.  Most sexual assaults reported to law enforcement were never referred by police to proseutors, or were not charged by the prosecutor's office.  None fo the sites had a statisically signficant increase in prosecution rates post SANE.  However, aggreageted data from all six sites indicated that there was a significant effect that cases processed post SANE were more likely to attain a higher level of disposition as compared to pre-SANE program implementation cases.


Incapacitated rape and alcohol use: A prospective analysis

By Kaysen D, Neighbors C, Martell J, Fossos N, Larimer ME. Addict Behav. 2006 Oct;31(10):1820-32. PMID: 16446044 This study examined timing of alcohol-related sexual assaults (incapacitated rape) in relation to both alcohol consumption and alcohol-related negative consequences. Results indicated that incapacitated rape was associated with higher alcohol use and more negative consequences in the years prior to the assault. Incapacitated rape was also associated with higher alcohol use and more negative consequences during the year in which the rape took place and subsequent years, with highest rates measured for the year of the rape. These results suggest alcohol use can function as both risk factor and consequence of sexual victimization.

Interpersonal violence in adolescence: ecological correlates of self-reported perpetration

By Banyard VL, Cross C, Modecki KL. J Interpers Violence. 2006 Oct;21(10):1314-32.Although growing attention is being paid to the problem of teen dating violence, to date less is known about perpetrators of victimization. The article examined correlates of perpetration of either physical dating violence or sexual abuse across all levels of the ecological model (individual, family, and community factors). Individual factors including substance use and low social responsibility, family factors including divorce, low parental monitoring, and low social support, and community variables such as low school attachment and neighborhood monitoring were associated with self-reported perpetration. Also gender and history of victimization were most significant in explaining variance in perpetration.PMID: 16940398

Marital Rape: New Research and Directions

By Raquel Kennedy Bergen (February 2006) Thisarticle provides an overview of the research on marital rape including a brief legal history of marital rape; discussion of its occurrence; summary of the effects; and an analysis of practitioners' intervention with marital rape survivors.

Medico-legal assessment of sexual assault victims in Lahore

By Hassan Q, Bashir MZ, Mujahid M, Munawar AZ, Aslam M, Marri MZ. Journal of the Pakistani Medicine Association, 2007 Nov;57(11):539-42.Thisstudy looked at the medico-legal assessment of sexual assault victims in Lahore. The study included all 123 female cases of alleged sexual assault that presented for medical examination at the office of the surgeon medico-legal Punjab at Lahore during 2002. Around 64% of the victims were between 10-19 years of age, 76% presented for medical examination after a delay of more than 72 hours. The assailant was known to the victim in 57% cases. Two or more assailants were involved in 30% cases. The victims had changed clothes and washed their bodies before the medical examination in 83% cases. Physical evidence of violence on the body was present in only 15% of the victims and evidence of recent injury to the genital tract was present in 18% individuals. However a positive semen analysis was reported in 98.35% of the samples.The authors of the studydetermined thatsexual assault was more common in younger females. Late presentation for examination was due to the embarrassment of being exposed. A positive semen analysis was the definite factor for confirmation of the assault.

Men and intimate partner rape: characteristics of men who sexually abuse their partner

By Bergen RK, Bukovec P.J Interpers Violence. 2006 Oct;21(10):1375-84.This article explores men's use of sexual violence against their intimate partner. Although there is a growing body of information about men's use of physical violence, there is less data about men's sexual violence in intimate partnerships. Also discussed are the ways in which this sample of men sexually abused their partner and the connection between physical and sexual abuse within their relationships. PMID: 16940402

Organizational Characteristics of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Programs: Results from the National Survey Project

By Campbell R,Townsend SM,Long SM,Kinnison KE,Pullet EM, Adames SB, Wasco SM. Journal of Forensic Nursing, Summer 2005. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs throughout the United States were contacted to participate in in-depth telephone interviews about program operations and services for sexual assault patients. Programs that had been in operation 5 years or less at the time of this study are compared to older programs to examine trends.

Recovery and Stability of RNA in Vaginal Swabs and Blood, Semen, and Saliva Stains.

By Mindy Setzer, Jane Juusola, and Jack Ballantyne. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2008. RNA expression patterns, including the presence and relative abundance of particular mRNA species, provide cell and tissue specific information that could be used for body fluid identification. In this report, we address perceived concerns on the stability, and hence recoverability, of RNA in forensic samples. The environmental samples that were protected from direct rain impact exhibited housekeeping and tissue specific mRNA recoverability up to 7 days (saliva and semen), 30 days (blood), or 180 days (vaginal swab). Additionally, rain had a detrimental effect on the recoverability of blood (3 days), saliva (1 day), semen (7 days), and vaginal secretions (3 days) specific transcripts, with one of the mRNA species (the semen marker PRM2) not being detectable after 1 day.

Relationship of Genital Injuries and Age in Adolescent and Young Adult Rape Survivors

By Baker RB, Somers, MS. Journal of Obstetrical Gynocological and Neonatal Nursing. 2008 May; 37(3): 28-289 PMID 18507599 This study examined the associations between age and genital injuries in adolescent and young adult women examined following rape. Using a retrospective record review, of women age 14 to 29 years. The stuy found that overall genital injury prevalence was 62.8%. Younger age was not significantly associated with the presence or absence of genital injury. However, younger age was significantly associated with an increased number of genital injuries overall and to the thighs, labia minora, periurethral area, fossa navicularis, and vagina.

Responding to sexual assault victims' medical and emotional needs: A national study of the services provided by SANE programs

By Campbell R, Townsend SM, Long SM, Kinnison KE, Pulley EM, Adames SB, Wasco SM.Res Nurs Health. 2006 Sep 14;29(5):384-398 PMID: 16977639

Restorative Justice Responses to Sexual Assault

By Mary Koss and Mary Achilles, VAWnet: The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women 2008: This Applied Research paper examines restorative justice for sexual assault from the perspective of survivors. A large international literature promotes restorative justice options as satisfying and empowering to crime victims.

Revising the SES: A Collaborative Process to Improve Assessment of Sexual Aggression and Victimization.

By Mary P. Koss, Antonia Abbey, Rebecca Campbell, Sarah Cook, Jeanette Norris, Maria Testa, Sarah Ullman, Carolyn West, Jacquelyn White, Psychology of Women Quarterly 31 (4), 357–370. 2007: The Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) assesses victimization and perpetration of unwanted sexual experiences. Revised versions of the SES that resulted from the work of the SES Collaboration are now available. This article reviews weaknesses of the SES that were identified, strengths that were preserved, and methodological considerations in the measurement of unwanted sexual experiences that informed the revisions.

Ripple Effects of Sexual Assault

By Zoe Morrison, Antonia Quadara and Cameron Boyd, Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, June 2007: The paper discusses some of the widespread effects of sexual assault on families, professionals and society as a whole, demonstrating the significance of sexual assault as a social issue.

Screening for Sexual Violence: Gaps in Research and Recommendations for Change

By Stevens, L. 2007. This paper looks at the current research on screening women for sexual violence in health care facilities. Background data on the problem of sexual assault is presented. Also discussed is the reasoning and rationale behind screening women for violence at heath care sites, the work that has been accomplished so far in screening of women for intimate partner violence and the possible reasons why questions about sexual violence in the lives of women have not been included on some of these screens. This article concludes with a discussion of the research gaps about screening women for sexual violence and recommendations for a future research agenda.

Sexual Assault Evidence Collection More Accurate When Completed by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners: Colorado's Experience

By Sievers, Valerie MSN, RN, CNS, CEN, SANE-A ; Murphy, Sherri BS c; Miller, Joseph J. PhD Journal of Emergency Nursing. 29(6):511-514, December 2003. This article details as study which was started to determine if sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) provide more effective evidence collection compared with non-SANE-trained nurse and physician colleagues.This study provided documentation that evidence collection kits prepared by SANEs are more accurate and complete when compared with evidence collection kits prepared by non-SANE nurses and physicians. Additional studies are needed to further validate the efficacy of SANE-completed evidentiary examinations.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program Goals and Patient Care Practices

By Patterson D, Campbell R, Townsend SM. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Second Quarter 2006. The Purpose of the study was to examine Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) programs’ goals and guiding philosophies and how they influence patient care practices for sexual assault victims.

Sexual Assault in Rural Communities

By Susan H. Lewis (September 2003) This document addresses our current level of understanding of sexual assault in rural areas as it affects both victims and rural service providers. The article recognizes the need for additional research regarding the question of prevalence, and the need to focus attention and perspective on a wide variety of rural configurations and cultural characteristics.

Sexually transmitted diseases in sexually abused girls and adolescents

By Shapiro RA, Makoroff KL.Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Oct;18(5):492-497. The clinical evaluation for suspected child sexual abuse often includes sexually transmitted disease testing. In spite of the high prevalence of sexual abuse, however, most abused children will not have a sexually transmitted disease identified. The low prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in this population requires special care by the clinician to exclude false-positive test results and to provide appropriate guidance to child protection workers. Recent findings indicate the likelihood of sexual transmission varies for specific infectious agents and the transmission of infectious agents such as human papillomavirus is complex. Concern about the low positive predictive value of many tests for sexually transmitted diseases in this population is again being demonstrated and clinicians are asked to be cautious in interpreting test results. The article concludes thattreatment of sexually transmitted diseases may need to be delayed pending confirmatory testing of the initial results. HIV postexposure prophylaxis should be considered within hours of the exposure. PMID: 16932042

Sexual violence among two populations of men at high risk of HIV infection

By Braitstein P, Asselin JJ, Schilder A, Miller ML, Laliberte N, Schechter MT, Hogg RS. AIDS Care. 2006 Oct;18(7):681-9. Thisarticle details a studythatsought to compare the prevalence of, and relationship between, age at first experience of sexual violence and HIV and other health risk behaviors in two populations of men at high risk of HIV infection. The conclusion was that men who have ever had sex with men appear to have a higher lifetime prevalence of sexual violence, compared to non-MSM injection drug users. Sexual violence is differentially associated with different health risk behaviors, depending on the age at first occurrence and the primary HIV risk factor (i.e. MSM vs. IDU). PMID: 16971275

Sexual Violence Offenders: Prevention and Intervention Approaches

ByD. Chung, P.J. O'Leary and T. Hand, Australian Center for the Study of Sexual Assault, 2006: This paper examines how theoretical explanations of sexual violence have shaped intervention and community responses.

Stranger and Acquaintance Sexual Assault of Adult Males

By Stermac L, Del Bove G, Addison M. J Interpers Violence. 2004 Aug;19(8):901-15. This article details a study of examined victim and assault characteristics and the nature and extent of coercion, violence, and physical injuries among adult male victims of sexual assaults. Study results revealed that male victims of sexual assault tended to be young, single men who reported high rates of vulnerabilities such as homelessness and physical, psychiatric, and cognitive disabilities. Male stranger assailant victims were more likely to experience assaults involving weapons and physical violence. Injuries sustained by victims and services delivered at the sexual assault care center were similar for both male and female clients. The results of this study reveal new information about violence in male sexual assaults and the vulnerability of the male victims. PMID: 15231029

Substance Abuse, High-Risk Sex, and Sexual Violence: What's the Connection?

By Rowan Frost, Southern Arizona Center against Sexual Assault, 2002: The article summarizes some of the research that demonstrates having experienced sexual violence is strongly associated with later substance abuse, high-risk sex, and other harmful behaviors.

The Effectiveness of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs

By Rebecca Campbell (VAWnet resource article,November 2004) This document is a brief summation of the currently existing SANE programs here in the US. The article also discusses current research on the effectiveness of these programs. Three focus areas are in the document including: 1) providing care in a setting that addresses the survivors’ emotional and medical needs 2) improving the quality of forensic evidence collection relative to the traditional hospital emergency department methods. 3) Increasing prosecution rates in communities, because of the meticulous documentation of evidence and injuries. Recommendations for future research are also presented.

The Effects of Age and Ethnicity on Physical Injury From Rape

By Sommers MS, Zink T, Baker RB, Fargo JD, Porter J, Weybright D, Schafer JC. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing 2006 Mar-Apr;35(2):199-207. This study details the research into whether women over age 50 (postmenopausal) would sustainsignigicantly more injury after rape than younger women, and also looked at the role of skin pigmentation in determining genital injury. While the study found no significant age differences in genital, physical or head trauma after rape, it did find that a significantly higher percentage of white femaleshad identified genital injury. The study concluded that the role of racial/ethnic differences and their association with the observance of injury need further exploration to determine whether the standard forensic examination is appropriate for all women. Health disparities may exist if women of color are less likely than others to have genital injuries identified and treated. Alternatively, skin properties may explain racial/ethnic differences in injury prevalence. PMID: 166202045

The Ability of Two Commercially Available Quick Test Kits to Detect Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Drugs in Beverages

ByBeynon CM, Sumnall HR, McVeigh J, Cole JC, Bellis MA. Addiction. 2006 Oct;101(10):1413-20. This article details an assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of two commercially available 'drug-facilitated sexual assault' drug detector kits, Drink Guard and Drink Detective. The conclusion the article details is that the use of drug detector kits by the public in the night-time environment needs further investigation and may create a false sense of security (false negatives) and undue concern (false positives) among kit users. PMID: 16968342

The Provision of Culturally Competent Health Care

By A. Blue and the MUSC College of Medicine, MUSC on line This article discusses the significant role health beliefs, based on culturally-grounded health and illness concepts, have in patient treatment outcomes. It also has specific culturally information related to popular folk health care beliefs from South Carolina. It provides practical tips and techniques for the practitioner to use with these populations.

The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma

By Nicole P. Yuan, Mary P. Koss, and Mirto Stone (March 2006) Thisarticle describes current research findings on the effects of childhood and adulthood sexual victimization on women's mental health. Existing data on understudied communities and risk factors for mental health problems are discussed.

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: A Win-Win Solution

By Girardin, Barbara W. MSN, PhD, RN, CCRN, SANE Topics in Emergency Medicine. 27(2):124-131, April/June 2005 The sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) cares for rape victims who traditionally would have been seen in the emergency department by a physician and nurse generalist for examination and evidence collection. SANE is part of a multidisciplinary team, the sexual assault response team, and has offered this team forensic and healthcare expertise specific to rape victims. Courts have designated SANE as an "expert witness" in cases of sexual assault. SANE is a more appropriate provider for the typical sexual assault patient. She has relieved the emergency department of a nonurgent group of patients and the volume of raped patients that she does see allows her to maintain expertise that serves well when caring for these patients and when testifying as an expert witness

Sexual Violence and Adolescents

By Holly Harner (April 2003) Thisarticle discusses the concept that despite many similarities, the risk factors for and consequences of sexual violence within adolescent relationships differ from sexual violence within adult marital and cohabiting relationships. As such, programs aimed at preventing sexual violence as well as counseling and clinical practices that provide care to those affected by sexually violent crimes must be tailored to meet the specialized needs of the adolescent population.

Violence against women by their intimate partner and common mental disorders

By Ludermir, A. B., L. B. Schraiber, et al., Social Science & Medicine 66(4): 1008-1018. 2008: This study investigated the association between violence committed against women by their intimate partners, defined by psychologically, physically and sexually abusive acts, and common mental disorders, assessed by using the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20).

Young People Who Sexually Abuse: Key Issues

By Cameron Boyd and Leah Bromfield, Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, 2006: This paper is about young people who have committed acts of sexual abuse. It is written for those who might come across this issue in their day-to-day work and would like to know what the current research and practice says.

Y-STR Profiling in Extended Interval (≥3 days) Postcoital Cervicovaginal Samples

By Mayntz-Press, K., Sims, L., Hall, A., Ballantyne, J. Journal of Forensic Sciences, March 2008. This article describes a study done to determine how long Y-STR profiles could be obtained from postcoital cervicovaginal swabs. The findings show that full Y-STR profiles from cervicovaginal samples recovered 3–4 days after intercourse were routinely obtained. Profiles were also obtainable 5–6 days postcoitus although by this stage partial profiles rather than full profiles were a more likely outcome. There was also one sample in which, remarkably an 8 locus Y-STR profile was obtained from a 7-day postcoital sample, which is approaching the reported time limit for sperm detection in the cervix.

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