Four in 10 Dutch women under the age of 25 report having had some form of sexual contact against their will, ranging from forced kissing to rape, according to a new report for the Limburg health board.
Researchers at Maastricht University studied data from 10,400 young Dutch men and women and compared their experiences of six different types of sexual assault – from being touched in a sexual way to rape.
In total, 41% of young women and 21% of young men said they had been subjected to some form of sexual contact against their will. In 70% of cases, the victim knew the attacker and in almost a quarter of cases, physical violence was also involved.
Young men with a non-Western nationality and young women and men with a lower educational level, a higher number of partners, an early sexual debut or a history of same-sex activities were the most likely victims, the report shows.
Non-volitional sex is increasingly recognised as a major public health problem affecting young people and has long-term negative health outcomes, the researchers said.
‘Male and female adolescents and young adults with a history of sexual violence are at a higher risk of developing a broad spectrum of psychological problems like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or pain-related symptoms,’ the report said.
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