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Am J Public Health. 2011 Jun;101(6):1054-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300045. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Care-seeking behavior by survivors of sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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  • 1RAISE Initiative, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Ave, B3, New York, NY 10032, USA. sec42@columbia.edu

Abstract

In February 2008, trained female interviewers collected data on sexual violence and use of medical services following sexual assault from 607 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Exposure to sexual violence during the DRC's civil war was reported by 17.8% of the women; 4.8% of the women reported exposure to sexual violence after the war. Few sexual-assault survivors accessed timely medical care. Facility assessments showed that this care was rarely available. Clinical care for sexual-assault survivors must be integrated into primary health care for DRC women.

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