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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


RAMOS-LIRA, Luciana et al. Sexual violence and related problems in women attending a healthcare center. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2001, vol.43, n.3, pp.182-191. ISSN 0036-3634.

Objective. To estimate the frequency of different forms of sexual violence and its association with mental health problems, such as depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation and attempt, and alcohol and drug use. Material and methods. From February to March 1998, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 345 women attending a healthcare center in Mexico City. All women were living with a partner/spouse at the time of the study. The proportions of three different types of sex life were obtained and compared with the chi-squared test. Results. Nineteen per cent of women reported that they had been sexually fondled against their will at least once in their lifetime, 11% had been raped, and 5% had been forced to touch the sex organs of another person against their will. One in every five women reported that they had experienced sexual violence in the context of an intimate relationship. An association was found between some forms of sexual violence and depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and use of psychoactive drugs. Conclusions. Sexual violence is a severe public health problem that requires implementing specific programs to sensitize and train healthcare providers to prevent it.  The English version of this paper is available at:

Keywords : women; sexual violence; depression; alcoholism; drugs; Mexico.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )