The prevalence of abuse in Swedish female psychiatric users, the perpetrators and places where abuse occurred

Anita Bengtsson Tops, U Markström, B Lewin

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The aims of the study were to investigate self-reported physical, sexual, emotional and economical abuse in Swedish female users of psychiatric services, who the perpetrators were and in which places abuse occurred. An anonymous self-administrated questionnaire was answered in the waiting room of the services. The drop-out rate was 21% and n=1382 women completed the questionnaire. Fifty-three per cent of the women had been abused during childhood, 63% during adulthood and 31% during past year. Seventy-four per cent of those exposed during childhood were also exposed later in life. Women subjected to abuse reported longer contact with psychiatric care. Regardless of life period, the majority reported multiple and frequent abuse. Emotional abuse was most frequent reported in both childhood and adulthood followed by physical and sexual abuse. The reported perpetrators were mainly male persons to whom the woman had an intimate relationship. Mostly the abuse occurred in the women's own home. However, other women, strangers, acquaintances and relatives were also stated as perpetrator and abusive acts also took place in other homes, outdoors or down town. The high prevalence of abuse and its multiplicity point to the necessity for the care and support system to prioritize abuse against women with psychiatric illness.

Sidor (från-till)504-510
Antal sidor6
TidskriftNordic Journal of Psychiatry
StatusPublicerad - 2005
Externt publiceradJa

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