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Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2022 Feb 11

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.22.05071-0

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Sexual violence in adult women and adolescents: a narrative review

Giussy BARBARA 1, 2 , Laura BUGGIO 1, Laila MICCI 3, Gaia SPINELLI 3, Cristina PAIOCCHI 3, Dhouha DRIDI 1, Giulia E. CETERA 2, Federica FACCHIN 4, Agnese DONATI 2, Paolo VERCELLINI 1, 2, Alessandra KUSTERMANN 3

1 Gynecological Unit and SVSeD, Service for Sexual and Domestic Violence, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 Gynecological Emergency Unit and SVSeD, Service for Sexual and Domestic Violence, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 4 Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy


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Sexual violence is a widespread phenomenon, as it has been estimated that about 35.6% of women have experienced some forms of sexual abuse, with variable prevalence estimates worldwide. Sexual violence has remarkable negative consequences on women’s health and quality of life, with a specific harmful impact on women’s psychological well-being and sexuality. In this narrative review, we provide an overview on the phenomenon of sexual violence against adult women and adolescents, discussing its associated multiple negative consequences with a specific focus on clinical and sexological aspects. ‘‘Women centered care’’ and a multidisciplinary approach appear of pivotal importance when working with sexual violence survivors. Woman should be engaged in all the clinical activities as equal partners in the decision-making process, and should be supported by multiple and different professional figures (i.e. gynecologists, psychologists, sexologists, forensic medical doctors, lawyers) working within the framework of a cooperative integrated model.


KEY WORDS: Sexual violence; Sexual abuse; Rape; Adolescents; Adult women

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