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Violence Against Women. 1995 Mar;1(1):6-31.

Sexual violence in women's lives. Findings from the Women's Safety Project, a community-based survey.



This paper presents a community-based study, which aims to determine the interconnections between women's experiences of sexual abuse in childhood, sexual assault in adulthood, and physical assault in intimate relationships in Toronto, Canada. An in-depth face-to-face interview was conducted with 420 women who comprised the random sample of the women living in Toronto, Canada. Findings on the prevalence and effects of various forms of sexual abuse and violence revealed that 97.6% of the woman interviewed reported that they personally experienced some form of sexual violation. Sexual abuse in childhood (including incest), sexual assault, sexual harassment, and physical assault in intimate relationships were documented. Among the findings were that one-fourth of the women in the sample were physically assaulted by a male intimate, one-half of the women reported being raped or almost raped, and nearly half of the respondents reported experiencing some kind of sexual abuse before reaching age 16.

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