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Prevalence of Wife Rape and Other Intimate Partner Sexual Coercion in a Nationally Representative Sample of Women

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Abstract:

This article provides a national estimate of wife rape and various other types of sexual coercion by a spouse or intimate partner. Findings from a 1997 national probability sample revealed that 34% of women were victims of some type of sexual coercion with a husband or partner in their lifetime. Of these women, 10% experienced rape by a current partner. This rate increased to 13% when only victims of rape by a current husband were included, which is consistent with previous studies on wife rape. Other findings reveal that women had unwanted sex with a current spouse or partner in return for a partner's spending money on them (24%), because they thought it was their "duty" (43%), after a romantic situation (29%), after the partner begged and pleaded with them (26%), and after their partner said things to bully them (9%). The importance of examining a continuum of sexual coercion is discussed and findings are compared and contrasted with other prevalence rates for sexual coercion in marriage.

Keywords: ABUSE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; RAPE; SEXUAL ABUSE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/vivi.17.5.511.33717

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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