Dr Laura Tarzia’s paper, “Sexual violence associated with poor mental health in women attending Australian general practices” was published last month in the ANZJPH. It reports the findings from the first wave of the PROSPER Study, which was funded by an MDHS Early Career Researcher Grant. PROSPER aims to explore the prevalence and health effects of sexual violence in a GP population.

There is a lack data on sexual violence as defined broadly by the World Health Organization. Most studies focus only on rape or physical sexual assault without incorporating more subtle forms of sexual violence such as coercion, unwanted groping or reproductive control.

Over 230 women participated in Wave One of PROSPER and filled out an anonymous iPad survey while waiting to see their GP. Dr Laura Tarzia was interviewed by the Herald Sun about the findings and the implications for GPs responding to women who present with otherwise unexplained mental health issues.