The prevalence of sexual assault: A survey of 2404 puerperal women

Andrew J. Satin, Susan M. Ramin, Jean Paicurich, Shara Millman, George D. Wendel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence of sexual assault, to characterize pregnancy complications, and to report pregnancy outcomes of assault victims. STUDY DESIGN: Puerperal women (n = 2404) were interviewed regarding a history of forced sexual contact. Obstetric, medical, and forensic records were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test, ξ2 test, or Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: The lifetime prevalence of sexual assault in this obstetric population was 5%(n = 120). Rape victims had a higher incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (9% vs 4%, p < 0.01), urinary tract infections or vaginitis (32% vs 21%, p = 0.02), drug use (9%vs 2%, p < 0.001), and multiple hospitalizations during the index pregnancy (15% vs 8%, p < 0.01). There was no difference between victims and nonvictims in neonatal outcome as reflected by umbilical artery blood pH, gestational age, or birth weight. CONCLUSIONS: A history of sexual assault is common in an urban indigent obstetric population. These women have more frequent pregnancy complications but achieve normal pregnancy outcomes. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1992;167:973–5.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-975
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Sexual assault
  • pregnancy
  • rape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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