Prevalence of strangulation in survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Title

Prevalence of strangulation in survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Creator

McQuown Colleen; Frey Jennifer; Steer Sheila; Fletcher Gwendolyn E; Kinkopf Brett; Fakler Michelle; Prulhiere Valorie

Publisher

The American journal of emergency medicine

Date

2016
2016-07

Description

OBJECTIVES: Both sexual assault (SA) survivors and domestic violence (DV) survivors are populations at risk of strangulation injury. Our goal was to identify the prevalence of strangulation in patients who are survivors of SA and DV, identify presence of lethality risk factors in intimate partner violence, and assess differences in strangulation between SA and DV populations. METHODS: We reviewed all patient encounters from our health system's SA/DV forensic nurse examiner program from 2004 to 2008. Medical records were reviewed for documented physical signs of strangulation or documentation of strangulation. Risk factors for lethality included presence of firearm, threats of suicide/homicide by the perpetrator, significant bodily injury, loss of consciousness, loss of bladder or bowel control, voice changes, or difficulty swallowing. Data were analyzed with Pearson chi(2) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: A total of 1542 encounters were reviewed. The mean patient age was 30 (range, 13-98) years and 97% were female. Six hundred forty-nine encounters were for DV assaults and 893 were SA. An intimate partner was the assailant 46% of the time; 84% DV vs 16% SA (P\textless.001). Patients reported strangulation in 23% (351/1542; 95% CI, 21%-25%) of their assaults. The prevalence of strangulation was 38% with DV and 12% with SA (P\textless.001). Most of the intimate partner encounters with strangulation had significant risk for lethality (97%, 261/269; 95% CI, 94%-99%). CONCLUSIONS: Patients presenting to our forensic nurse examiner program who were survivors of DV were more likely than SA patients to sustain strangulation. Lethality risk factors were common.

Subject

80 and over; 80 and Over; Adolescence; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Asphyxia – Epidemiology; Asphyxia/*epidemiology; Checklists; Domestic Violence; Domestic Violence/*statistics & numerical data; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Age; Middle Aged; Prevalence; Retrospective Design; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Sex Offenses/*statistics & numerical data; Sexual Abuse; Young Adult

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

1281–1285

Issue

7

Volume

34

Citation

McQuown Colleen; Frey Jennifer; Steer Sheila; Fletcher Gwendolyn E; Kinkopf Brett; Fakler Michelle; Prulhiere Valorie, “Prevalence of strangulation in survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed October 16, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/3414.

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