Sexual Violence

A Priority Research Area for Women’s Mental Health

Authored by: Jill Astbury , Rachel Jewkes

Routledge Handbook of Global Public Health

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415778480
eBook ISBN: 9780203832721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136838330

10.4324/9780203832721.ch40

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Abstract

Sexual violence is a violation of human rights and a serious global public health problem. To date, the challenge of sexual violence has been massively neglected by researchers, policy-makers, and programme designers. Yet the problem is widespread, occurs in all countries, and mars the lives of over one in three female children and at least one in four women globally (Jewkes et al. 2002). Rape is carried out, often with impunity, in peace as well as in conflict situations, and results in a wide range of mental and physical health problems. Significantly, the use of sexual violence against women as a military tactic during war has been described by the United Nations (UN) Security Council in resolution 1820 as a ‘threat to global security’.

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