For sexual assault survivors, the assault is just the beginning of a long journey to recovery. It is far too often, though, that survivors do not get the care they need, which can worsen the chance for PTSD. In one sample, 31% of rape survivors had developed PTSD in comparison to 5% of women who haven’t been victims of crime (Ullman, Townsend, Filipas, & Starzynski, 2007). There is a large amount of factors that can contribute to the development of PTSD post-assault (Ullman, et al, 2007).. Factors that happen even before the assault that may exacerbate the development of PTSD are ethnicity, age and education (Ullman, et al, 2007). PTSD also has an affect based on the severity of the assault, which includes factors such as offender violence, severity of sexual acts, and physical injury. Factors such as social support, self blame, and avoidance coping also have an impact on PTSD after assault (Ullman, et al., 2007). The examination on the development of PTSD after sexual assault is not just important in understanding the disorder, but helping the survivors.
PTSD is defined by symptoms of intrusion, avoidance of stimuli related to the event and hyperarousal (Hébert, Lavoie, & Blais, 2014). There are multitudes of risk factors when it comes to the development of PTSD post-assault (Elklit, et al. 2013). PTSD risk factors after rape are different from many of the factors that can predict PTSD in survivors of non-sexual assault (Elklit, et al. 2013). It is too often that in exposure to trauma, the survivor learns that the world is an unsafe place. Conditioning such as this is strengthened during repeated trauma (Elklit, et al. 2013). Of course, this is not to ...
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...rt, M., Lavoie, F., & Blais, M. (2014). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD in adolescent victims of sexual abuse: Resilience and social support as protection factors. Ciênc. Saúde Coletiva Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 19(3), 685-694. doi:10.1590/1413-81232014193.15972013
Ullman, S. E., Filipas, H. H., Townsend, S. M., & Starzynski, L. L. (2005). Trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder and problem drinking in sexual assault survivors. J. Stud. Alcohol Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 66(5), 610-619. Retrieved October 12, 2015, from Science direct.
Ullman, S. E., Townsend, S. M., Filipas, H. H., & Starzynski, L. L. (2007). Structural Models Of The Relations Of Assault Severity, Social Support, Avoidance Coping, Self-Blame, And Ptsd Among Sexual Assault Survivors. Psychol of Women Q Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(1), 23-37. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2007.00328.x
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