13% of Rape Victims Attempt Suicide

The rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is three times greater among women who were raped as children; 13% of rape victims attempt suicide.

PTSD, Depression, and Other Mental Health Problems: Nearly one-third of rape victims develop PTSD; the rate of PTSD is three times greater among women who were raped as children.  One-third of victims experience major depression in their lifetime.  Victims of sexual assault by someone they know tend to experience more severe psychological stress due to self-blame.  Victims of drug and alcohol facilitated rape also have an increased risk of PTSD, major depression, and substance use disorders.

Among other mental health problems, 13% of rape victims attempt suicide. Sexual abuse is significantly associated with the development of addictions in women.  Research suggests that some survivors of sexual assault may self-medicate to deal with the depression or anxiety resulting from the assault.  Rape victims are more likely to use illicit drugs and prescription drugs for non-medical reasons than non-victims.  One study found that 73% of the sixty women interviewed in a residential substance abuse treatment facility had been raped, and 45% had been raped more than once.

Sexual assault survivors may also experience eating disorders:  26.6% of women with bulimia nervosa were raped at some point in their lives.


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Author: WVPA

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