That’s three out of every four survivors.
It’s a heartbreaking statistic to absorb.
But for the Australians who work in this field, it is sadly “not surprising at all”.
While the survey was conducted in the UK by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, health experts have told Mamamia the figures on our shores would be very similar.
And considering about one in five Australian women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, that makes a lot of us whose lives are being put at risk. It means sexual abusers are managing to take away a woman’s physical health – or life, even – years after an attack.
“Cervical screening is an inevitably intimate and invasive process and for some survivors it can trigger memories or even flashbacks to the sexual violence or abuse they’ve experienced,” Rape Crisis England & Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said.
“The thought or reality of going for a test can cause some survivors to fear they’re not in full control of their body or situation and this can make them reluctant to access this vital health service.”