Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
In this report the authors reviewed literature that dealt with intimate partner sexual violence as a discrete form of intimate partner violence. Emotional trauma and shame associated with intimate partner sexual violence is significant and this is partly related to the fact that victims of marital sexual assault may be up to ten times likely to be a victim of a multiple assault compared to victims of sexual assault by strangers or acquaintances. The study explores the type of shame felt by these victims and what it means for reporting and disclosure even when other physical aspects of violence may be reported. Perpetrators of intimate partner sexual violence can use this strong sense of shame to their advantage to exploit the vulnerabilities it creates in their victims. The authors contend that sexual violence is even less likely to be reported where the offence was committed by a current intimate partner.
The report concludes with a discussion of the implications of victim shame for treating professionals and in particular the lack of disclosure of intimate partner sexual violence