Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sexual Coercion and Violence: A New Study by The Family Violence Prevention Fund

In a report released yesterday by Child Trends through The Family Violence Prevention Fund, reports that approximately "18 percent of women age 18 to 24 report having experienced forced sexual intercourse at least once in their lives." Besides bringing to light the shocking numbers of young women who are being coerced into sex, the report discusses what implications this has for reproductive health, such as forced pregnancy, HIV, and infertility. Read the study here.

The FVPF's new initiative, called kNOw More is designed to explore the consequences of sexual coercion. You can read more about them at

The study shares stories from real women about how sexual coercion affected there lives, and how it was entwined with emotional and physical abuse in their relationships. One woman's horrific story is here:

Jessica says: “I became pregnant less than four months into dating him. He refused to give me funds to purchase birth control, and always refused to use condoms after we became exclusive… I had minimal options. When we decided to continue the pregnancy and marry, the overt abuse started within days of our wedding; it continued throughout the marriage. He was verbally, emotionally, financially, sexually, and physically abusive to me. He would videotape me during vulnerable moments, after abusing me verbally to the point where I was in hysterics, or try to video tape us against my wishes while having sex. He would always refuse my attempts at birth control.”

This is a really important issue to take notice of. Look for more posts at reports on the intersection of domestic violence and reproductive health.


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