New Report: Victims of Sexual Violence More Likely to Suffer Mental Health Issues
Monday, August 8, 2011 10:10 AM

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association of over 4,400 women in Australia found that women who had suffered sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking were between three and eleven times more likely to have ever suffered from mental health problems.


Twenty-seven percent of women surveyed said that they had been sexually or physically assaulted and/or stalked at some point in their lives, a rate similar to that in the United States.


The risk for mental health issues increased in proportion to the number of assaults and degree of violence experienced. Of the women who had suffered several different types of violence, 77% had suffered from an anxiety disorder and over half from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. Even when controlling for factors such as education and income, the women were still eleven times more likely to have suffered from mental health problems. While the study cannot confirm that the violence itself caused the increased incidence of mental health issues, these results suggest that it is likely.



Compiled from:After violence, women’s mental health suffers," Reuters, AlertNet, (5 August 2011).