International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 1197–1204 | Cite as

Violence against African migrant women living in Turin: clinical and forensic evaluation

  • Paola Castagna
  • Rossana Ricciardelli
  • Federica Piazza
  • Grazia Mattutino
  • Beatrice Pattarino
  • Antonella Canavese
  • Sarah Gino
Original Article


The phenomenon of migration is often related to violence and exploitation. Data collection in conflict-affected countries is hard and complicated by the lack of literature, especially on the health of migrant female victims of violence. The aim of our study has been to realise a clinical and forensic evaluation on African female migrant’s global health through their admissions to the Rape Centre “Soccorso Violenza Sessuale” at Sant’Anna Hospital in Turin. In our sample, we considered several aspects such as place where the violence occurred, number and the identity of the perpetrators, use of physical restraint instruments and/or substances, kidnapping, prostitution under duress, abuses, pregnancies and outcomes, injuries and complained symptoms, female genital mutilation, and sexually transmitted diseases. The sample consisted of 143 women, of which 136 were victims of violence. In 72.8% of the episodes, the perpetrator of violence was an unknown subject. Of the women, 58.8% reported being abused in Libya, 92.6% were victims of sexual violence, and 30.2% became pregnant after sexual abuse. The physical examination of the sample showed that 34.6% of women had at least a scar and that 12.5% reported a female genital mutilation. This is the first database on health of African female migrants in Turin area collecting data on migration, violence, and physical and psychological effects of abuse.


Migrant women Partner violence Non-partner violence Global health Clinical evaluation Forensic evaluation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The authors declare that the present study comply with the current Italian laws.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Città della Salute e della Scienza, Centro Soccorso Violenza SessualePresidio Ospedaliero Sant’AnnaTurinItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Criminalistic Sciences “Carlo Torre”, Department of Public Health and PediatricsUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Department of Surgical SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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