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Starting the Conversation around the Spectrum of Sexual Abuse

February 15, 2019 3:54 pm | Published by

Interview with Saltzer Medical Group’s Dr. Megan Kasper and 94.9 The River’s Debbie Courson

Dr Kasper continues her talk with Debbie Courson about sexual and reproductive coercion and how it fits within a spectrum of sexual abuse. Dr Kasper mentions that within the teenage demographic, the discussion is opening up more because of practices like Sexting.


Sending sexually explicit messages, photos, or video via cell phone, computer, or any digital device. Sexting includes photos and videos containing nudity or show or simulated sex acts. It also includes text messages that discuss or propose sex acts.

So what does a person do if they are a recipient of a some form of sexual or reproductive coercion.

  • First recognize that sexual or reproductive coercion is happening
  • Take personal inventory
  • Take action (seek help)

Taking action or seeking help can come in a variety of ways. Talking with your healthcare provider is one such way.

Talk with your Healthcare Provider

A fundamental role for healthcare providers is to assess the safety of a survivor or victim and help him or her stay out of danger. Your healthcare provider may guide you through a danger assessment to determine what kind of help you may need.

Sample Danger Assessment Questions for Intimate Partner Violence

  1. Has the physical violence increased in frequency over the past year?
  2. Has the physical violence increased in severity over the past year?
  3. Does he ever try to choke you?
  4. Is there a gun in the house?
  5. Has he ever forced you to have sex when you did not wish to do so?
  6. Does he use drugs? By drugs, I mean “uppers” or amphetamines, speed, angel dust, cocaine, “crack”, street drugs or mixtures.
  7. Does he threaten to kill you and/or do you believe he is capable of killing you?
  8. Is he drunk every day or almost every day? (In terms of quantity of alcohol.)
  9. Does he control most or all of your daily activities? For instance, does he tell you who you can be friends with, how much money you can take with you shopping, or when you can take the car?
  10. Have you ever been beaten by him while you were pregnant?
  11. (If you have never been pregnant by him, check here ____)
  12. Is he violently and constantly jealous of you? (For instance, does he say “If I can’t have you, no one can.”)
  13. Have you ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?
  14. Has he ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?
  15. Is he violent toward your children?
  16. Is he violent outside of the home?

The health care provider should respect the survivor’s ability to identify his or her own safety risks as well as possible strategies for mitigating those risks.  Where danger to children is involved, the health care provider should follow facility and national protocols on their protection.

Local Resources:


Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

National Resources:



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This post was written by Saltzer Health