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This study examined sexual violence research to identify gaps in the knowledge on partner sexual violence. Three main research frameworks were identified to generate information on sexual violence: literature on sexual violence independent of victim-offender relationship, examining rates and characteristics; literature on partner violence; and literature on sexual coercion. The authors examined172 articles on sexual violence, as part of the study, to describe common measures used to assess sexual violence and identified a number of shortcomings. These included an overreliance on dichotomous yes/no representations of sexual violence experiences, and inadequate documentation of the scope and nature of partner sexual violence. It was also found that there was limited information about the role sexual violence plays in the larger context of coercive control. The authors recommend researchers explore in more depth the targeted behaviours and contributing factors rather than simply applying existing measures to different sample populations.
Future research should systematically examine the frequency, severity and duration of sexual violence incidents.