Self-mutilating behavior of sexually abused female adults in Turkey

Baral I., Kora K., Yuksel S., Sezgin U.

JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, vol.13, no.4, pp.427-437, 1998 (SSCI) identifier identifier


The authors' study included 42 female adult patients. All the patients had been sexually abused by family members. The participants were grouped into two groups: those with self-mutilating behavior (SMB) and those without such behavior: They were evaluated for history of physical and sexual trauma, suicide attempts, eating habits, and SMB. The ratio of SMB in the sample was 33.3%. Our findings support that SMB and sexual abuse are closely related to eating disorders, particularly anorexia. The relationship between SMB and suicide attempts was found statistically significant. Childhood abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a largely ignored psychosocial problem in Turkey. SMB and sexual abuse are highly correlated, and therefore SMB might be considered as an important signal for the presence of sexual abuse.