History of Past Sexual Abuse in Married Observant Jewish Women. American Journal of Psychiatry, November 2007, 164:1700-1706 .
Author:Friedman, M., Labinsky, E., Rosenbaum, T., Schmeidler, J. & Yehuda, R.
The authors examined instances of past sexual abuse and related demographic characteristics in the self-reports of a select group of married observant Jewish women.
Orthodox Jewish married women (N=380) ages 19 to 58 responded to advertisements asking them to complete an anonymous questionnaire about sexual experiences, including sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse was reported by 26% of the respondents surveyed, with 16% reporting abuse occurring by the age of 13. More ultra-Orthodox Jews reported abuse than modern-Orthodox Jews. Women who were raised observant reported significantly less childhood sexual abuse than those who became observant later in life. Sexual abuse was associated with increased treatment-seeking for depression, marital counseling, or other emotional or psychological problems.
While observant Jewish women live in a culture defined by a high degree of adherence to specific laws of conduct, including rules designed to regulate sexual contact, sexual abuse of various types still exists among them.