Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1375-1379

First online:

Family Structure as a Risk Factor for Women’s Sexual Victimization: A Study Using the Danish Registry System

  • Ask ElklitAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Aarhus University
  • , Mark ShevlinAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, University of Ulster Email author 

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This study estimated the risk of sexual victimization associated with different family structures. Based on the Danish Civil Registration System, all female visitors to the Centre for Rape Victims (CRV) at the University Hospital in Aarhus, during a two-year period (January 2005 to December 2006) were identified (N = 214) along with a control group (N = 4,343) that was matched by age and residential location. The family structure in the preceding year was used as a predictor variable in a logistic regression model. Results indicted that, compared to those who were married with children at home, being single with children at home significantly increased the likelihood of having visited the CRV. This is consistent with the research literature that has shown that single women with children are at risk for disadvantage on a range of socioeconomic and psychological factors as well as at risk for interpersonal violence.


Rape Sexual victimization Family structure Single mothers Marriage