Intimate partner violence and sexual risks

Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects almost one fourth of all women and those experiencing IPV are at higher risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and unintended pregnancy. Contraception and prevention strategies against sexually transmitted infections thus need to be optimized for women in relationships entailing forced sexual encounters.

Sutherland et al (2012) suggest three direct questions that nurses can routinely ask their patients: 

  • Have you ever been abused or threatened by your partner?
  • In the past year, have you been physically hurt by someone?
  • Have you ever been forced to have sex?

Reference: Sutherland MA, Fantasia HC, Fontenot H, Harris AL. Safer Sex and Partner Violence in a Sample of Women. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2012;8:717-724

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