Abstract

Background and aim: Sexual violence is a serious public health problem which is common around the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate spiritual health and self-esteem in sexual violence victims. 

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 66 subjects in the group of sexual violence women and 147 subjects in the group of women with no experience of sexual violence who referred to Tehran Forensic Medical Center and the health centers of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences respectively, in 2015, in Tehran, Iran. Sexual violence was considered as vaginal or anal penetration. Paloutzian & Ellison spiritual health questionnaire and Rosenberg self-esteem scale were used for data collecting. Data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS version 21. The Kolmogorov Simonov test was used for normality distribution of variables. Descriptive and the Mann-Whitney tests were used to analyze the data. Statistical significance was set to p<0.05.

Results: Sexual activity in both groups was started at 20 years old. Most of the abused subjects were single (48.8%), with education level below diploma (55.2%), unemployed (67%) and with an average annual income of 200 million Rials ($7,000). Familiarity with the offender was mostly as friendship (42.4%), and the offence had occurred through deception (37.8%). No significant difference was found between the total mean scores of self-esteem in the two groups (M1: 21.89, M2: 21.02; p=0.76) while a significant difference was seen between the mean scores of spiritual health, which indicates a lower level of spiritual health in women with sexual violence (M1: 74.59 (2.03), M2: 86.39 (3.12); p<0.001).

Conclusion: The results of the present study highlight the importance of spirituality in sexual violence so policies to promote spiritual health are recommended to protect women.

 

Keywords: Rape, Sex offenses, Self-esteem, Spirituality
 
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