Men's and women's childhood sexual abuse and victimization in adult partner relationships: A study of risk factors

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Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp. 638-647.

This article examined childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and socio-demographic characteristics as risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) through secondary data analyses of the 1999 Canadian General Social Survey on victimization. Data were collected using a random digit dial survey of households with telephones in Canada. For the purposes of the present analyses, only those Survey participants who were 18 years or older and were married or living in common law relationships (at the time of the survey or within the past five years of the survey) were included. Chi-square analysis and hierarchical logistic regressions were used. Women reported a higher prevalence of CSA as compared to men, and women also were more likely to report physical and sexual IPV than men. Psychological IPV did not differ for women and men. Women that reported CSA were more likely to also report psychological, physical, and sexual abuse by current or previous intimate partners. For those women that reported CSA certain factors increased the risk of intimate partner violence, namely young age and physical or mental limitations in everyday activities. Men that reported CSA, compared to men that did not report CSA, were more likely to report psychological and physical abuse in their intimate relationships. For men that reported CSA, older age and having a partner at the time of the survey appeared to decrease the likelihood of IPV, whereas the presence of physical or mental limitations and historical childhood physical assault appeared to increase the likelihood of IPV. Overall the results show that among adults in Canada, a history of CSA is associated with a greater risk of victimization within intimate relationships. The authors conclude that specific prevention efforts must be developed targeting women and men that have survived childhood sexual abuse.

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Canadian CW research
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