Early Sexual Abuse among Honduran Women and Its Association with Sexual and Reproductive Health
Ilene S. Speizer, Virginia Commonwealth University
Mary M. Goodwin, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Lisa Whittle, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Maureen Clyde, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This study uses data from the 2001 Honduras Reproductive Health Survey to report and describe the prevalence of early sexual abuse (before age 12) and its associations with later reproductive health behavior and intimate partner violence. Early sexual abuse was reported by 5 percent of Honduran women. Women reporting early sexual abuse were significantly younger at first sex than those who did not experience sexual abuse. Controlling for age at first sex, no association was found between early sexual abuse and contraceptive use at first sex. Among women with a current partner, those exposed to early sexual abuse were two times more likely than non-exposed women to report current partner violence (physical or sexual). Prevention of abuse will require programs to recognize the impact of non-consensual sex for young women and develop strategies that address risk factors at the individual, family, and community level.