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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


DALLOS ARENALES, Marta Isabel et al. Impact of Sexual Violence on the Victims’ Mental Health in Bucaramanga, Colombia. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp.56-65. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Sexual violence in Colombia has become a serious public health problem; this type of violence has been associated with multiple individual, familial and social risk factors and it has been related to physical and psychosocial sequelae in the short, medium and long term. Method: In this descriptive study, factors associated with mental disorders were evaluated in 55 sexual violence victims seen at the Institute of Health in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Results: 43.6% had been abused in several occasions and 66.7% of the victims knew the aggressor. As associated factors, 21.6% of the victims had a psychiatric history and in 41% some member of the family had a psychiatric history. 60% had a history of family abuse, 25% considered family relations to be conflictive and 60% stated that the neighborhood where they lived was violent. At the beginning of this study, 87% presented with some type of finding in the mental examination and it was possible to establish an Axis I diagnosis in 72.7% of the cases. Conclusions: A history of family violence and mental illness in the family’s victim as well living in violent communities are risk factors associated with sexual violence in our population. Anxiety, depressive and behavior disorders are the most frequent mental sequelae in this population.

Palavras-chave : Sex offenses; violence; risk factors.

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