Abuse Against Women in Rural Minnesota

Marion Kershner, Dianne Long, Jon E Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in women seeking care in rural medical clinics and WIC supplemental food program sites, as well as to examine demographic and health characteristics related to abuse. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study using a self-administered, anonymous survey. Data were collected in 8 medical clinics and 17 WIC supplemental food program sites in 9 counties of west-central Minnesota during January and February, 1997. The survey instrument asked brief screening questions on physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as demographic and health related questions designed to reflect the rural population and characteristics. The survey results showed that in the prior 12 months, 109 (6.6%) of the respondents reported physical abuse, 347 (21.1%) reported emotional/verbal abuse, and 35 (2.1%) reported sexual abuse. Proportional increases in risk of current abuse relative to married women were 2.1 for single, 2.5 for divorced, and 6.5 for separated women, after adjusting for other important variables. Single women with a recent status change had significantly higher risk of current abuse than women with a recent status change at all other marital status levels in adjusted analyses. Women who reported some form of abuse before age 18, and women reporting abuse as an adult prior to the last 12 months, were significantly more likely to report current abuse in all analyses. Prior abuse as an adult was the single best predictor of current abuse in a final logistic regression model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1998


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