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Presentation
Hidden Behind a 53 Foot Trailer: Are Women Truck Drivers at Risk for Sexual Assault?
Ending Violence against Women International (2016 International Conference) (2016)
  • Kim Bourne, Western Kentucky University
Abstract
 Background. Sexual assault affects one in five women, worldwide, across their lifetime; approximately 22 million women in the United States (US).  Only twenty-seven percent of the assaults are reported to the police.  In the US, approximately 8% of the sexual assaults on women occur in the workplace; late hours of the night or early morning hours, working alone, working in isolated areas, working with the public, and working in a mobile workplace place women at an increased risk.  There are approximately 200,000 women long-haul truck drivers in the US; 132,000 drives with a partner, and 99,000 drives with their intimate partners.  Their jobs often require them to drive at night, to drive and park in isolated or high crime areas, and to interact with people who are both known and unknown to them. Purpose. The purposes of this presentation are to compare the characteristics of women truck drivers with the characteristics of women victims of sexual assault to determine if women truck drivers are at risk for sexual assault; to describe the prevalence rates, risk factors, and physical and psychological consequences of sexual assault in the general population; and to discuss why victims do not report.  Methods. Articles in English between 2011 and 2015 were searched in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and MedLine using the keywords females, homicide, sexual assault, rape, sexual violence, workplace, and women truck drivers.  In females above age 18, prevalence rates, risk factors, physical and psychological consequences, and statistics on reporting were abstracted.  Exclusion criteria included: articles on campus sexual assault and/or males. Results. Almost 50% of the sexual assault victims were either African American or Caucasian women who were young to middle age, single, and from lower income households.  They typically had a high school or lower education level. More than 75% of the victims knew the perpetrator, and 50% received a physical injury while being sexually assaulted.  Consequences of sexual assault included physical and psychological outcomes such as headache, gynecological complaints, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Typically, women truck drivers were white (75%), middle-aged (30-50 years old), and married (47%).  They fell into the low to middle income level ($30,000-$50,000/year) and had at least a high school education (50%).  Recommendations for future research include identifying specific risk factors that put women truck drivers at risk for sexual violence and comparing similarities and differences in women long-haul truck drivers and women in non-male dominated professions in order to develop interventions and reporting policies related to sexual assault in women long-haul truck drivers.  In addition, physical and psychological consequences need to be examined in women long-haul truck drivers to determine treatment plans and coping strategies following a sexual assault.  The target audience for this presentation includes nurses who may come in contact with women truck drivers and researchers interested in either sexual assault or women truck drivers.  
Keywords
  • sexual assault,
  • rape,
  • women truck drivers
Publication Date
2016
Location
Washington, D.C.
Comments
Learning Objectives:
The learner will be able to identify and compare the characteristics of victims of sexual assault and of female truck drivers.
The learner will be able to identify the potential physical and psychological consequences sexual assault could have on women truck drivers.
The learner will be able to identify reasons sexual assault is not reported.
Citation Information
Hidden Behind a 53 Foot Trailer: Are Women Truck Drivers at Risk for Sexual Assault? (poster presentation): Ending Violence against Women International (2016 International Conference), Washington, DC.