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Keywords:

  • sexual assault;
  • intimate partner violence;
  • gynecological health;
  • reproductive health

Abstract

We examined the relationship between sexual assault and gynecological health symptoms (e.g., pelvic pain, painful intercourse) in a sample of predominately African American female veterans. Those who had been sexually victimized experienced significantly more frequent gynecological health symptoms than those who had not been assaulted. Multiple forced penetrations, assault by an intimate partner, having weapons used, physical injury, belief that the victim's life was in danger during the assault, and serving in the military at the time of assault increased the likelihood of reporting particular gynecological health symptoms. Screening women in health care settings for a history of violence can link women to resources and treatment for assault-related health symptoms. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 399–413, 2006