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Cad Saude Publica. 2013 May;29(5):889-98.

[Sexual violence: a descriptive study of rape victims and care in a university referral center in São Paulo State, Brazil].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brasil.


Rape is a global public health problem, and steps have been taken to encourage studies on the issue and propose interventions for its prevention and appropriate care. This study aimed to characterize the population of female rape victims and describe the characteristics of the sexual assault and the care provided at a university referral center. This was a quantitative retrospective study of care provided to female rape victims from June 2006 to December 2010. The majority of the women (n = 687) were white, single, had no children, with a mean age of 23.7 years and primary to secondary schooling, employed, and practiced a religion. One-fourth of the victims reported no sexual intercourse prior to the sexual assault. Rape occurred mainly at night, on the street, perpetrated by a single stranger, with vaginal penetration, and with threatened or actual force. Most of the victims had reported the rape to someone and felt supported. Early care occurred for almost 90% of women, allowing preventive measures. From 2006 to 2010 there was an increase in the proportion of women that sought help. Better knowledge of the characteristics of this group and the event itself can help improve the structure and functioning of models to assist rape victims.

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