Sunday, May 13, 2012

Violent past leads women to "risky" sex

Rob Waugh,

  • Women in violent areas prone to risky behavior
  • "Community violence" highest risk factor
  • Prone to having multiple partners, using no protection, using drugs or alcohol before sex
Even witnessing crimes has a profound effect on women -- with women who live with violence more prone to having "risky" sex. 

Women who have witnessed crimes, or been abused themselves, are more likely to have a high number of sexual partners. They are also more likely to have unprotected sex -- and to use drugs or alcohol before having sex. 

Girls rock (LailaThePhotographer/
"Community violence" -- simply being surrounded by violence, either in adulthood or childhood -- has some of the most profound effects.

The findings offer new insight on the known link between exposure to violence and HIV/STD risk behavior, particularly among low-income, urban women, who may experience high rates of violence.

"Sadly, our results show that many women must cope with multiple forms of violence and that some combinations of violent experiences put women at risk for HIV, other STDs or unplanned pregnancy -- not to mention the risks from the violence itself," said lead author Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D., of The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. More


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