Background: Sexual violence is a global health and human rights issue that impacts the physical and mental health of victims and increases healthcare costs. Purpose: This research was developed to investigate the prevalence of sexual violence against women in Taiwan and the help-seeking behavior of these women. Based on the findings, suggestions are provided for both government policymakers and frontline medical staffs. Methods: Data for this study were collected using a face-to-face interview survey conducted with women aged 18 to 74 years nationwide. Results: Of the 1,504 women surveyed, 87 (5.76%) reported having suffered from sexual violence. The one-year prevalence was 1.41%, while the lifetime prevalence was 5.76%. Although sexual violence is known to impact physical and mental health, most victims are reluctant to seek help from formal support systems. Conclusions: Victims of sexual violence often delay seeking help from medical settings. Although the victims identified in this study endured chronic symptoms and psychological trauma, few had made formal disclosures of intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) incidents. Frontline medical staffs have the opportunity to play an important role in sexual-violence response if they are made aware of incidents of IPSV / non-IPSV. Thus, to facilitate disclosure, screening for IPSV and non-IPSV should be made standard practice in high-risk medical settings.
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