Sexual Assault Linked To Mental IllnessAugust 7, 2011 1 Comment
It is no surprise that victims of sexual assault have mental anguish after an attack, but a new study proves just how much effect a sexual assault can have on their health.
Australian research found that 27 percent women had experienced sexual assault, abuse or stalking at least once.
Now the even sadder news. Of women who had been abused before, 57 percent also suffered from depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD. This is compared to only 28 percent of women who had never experienced a gender-based attack. And women who had been dealt the unfortunate card of experiencing abuse three times or more were 89 percent more likely to experience a mental disease. That is an incredibly high rate.
Of course the obvious question is whether attacked women are more likely to develop mental illness, or whether women with mental problems are more likely to be attacked.
While researchers may be unsure about which came first, I think it is fairly likely to assume that an attack will bring about a disease over a disease bringing on an attack. What, are women with depression more likely to allow themselves to be abused? Come on. Considering that only 11 percent of women who have been attacked more than three times manage to escape these problems, the reality of the situation is fairly clear.
Either way, the main thing is that women who suffer from abuse need more mental health support. This connection needs to be made more prominent. Luckily, research like this should back up efforts to help women in this situation.
Smiling and pretending nothing happened is no solution for anyone.
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