Sexual, Domestic, and Gender-based Abuse

Frank Houghton1, Lisa O’Rourke Scott2, Jennifer Moran Stritch3, Hazel Katherine Larkin4, Melinda Heinz5

A collection of experience and opinion


The following five contributions, collectively, offer an exploration of various facets of societal challenges and public health issues, highlighting the need for awareness, research, and targeted interventions. The five commentaries for this special section, address the hugely important frequently invisible and secret topic, of sexual, domestic and gender-based abuse.  The World Health Organization identifies violence against women, in particular intimate partner, and sexual violence as a major public health problem.  They estimate that globally 30% of women have been subjected to either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.  Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and can lead to femicide and increased risk of suicide. 

While each article addresses a distinct subject, the common thread lies in the recognition of hidden, nuanced, or evolving problems that demand attention, understanding, and concerted efforts. Collectively, these articles paint a detailed picture of contemporary challenges in public health, urging a multidimensional and collaborative approach. They underscore the importance of tailored interventions, awareness campaigns, and ethical research practices to address the evolving landscape of societal issues and ensure the well-being of communities.