Sexual assault is a serious issue that affects women’s health and wellbeing. In this article, we will discuss the connection between sexual assault and health, addressing the physical and emotional health impacts experienced by victims, how to identify the signs and symptoms of sexual violence, and the necessary steps to recovery.
Physical Effects of Sexual Assault on Women’s Health
Survivors of sexual assault can experience both physical and mental health issues. Physically, survivors can experience bruising, bleeding and physical discomfort, as well as infected wounds and transmission of sexually-transmitted infections. Long-term physical effects of sexual assault include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety which can significantly impact the survivor’s overall physical health.
Emotional Health and Wellbeing After Sexual Assault
In addition to physical effects of sexual assault, survivors may also experience emotional and mental health problems. Common psychological symptoms experienced include thoughts of suicide, flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, depression, and inability to concentrate. Victims may also suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that can include symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, severe anxiety and emotional regulation issues.
Identifying the Signs of Sexual Assault
Anyone can experience sexual assault, making it important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a potential assault. Those who have experienced sexual assault may show behavioral changes such as withdrawal from activities or people, decreased self-esteem and feelings of guilt or shame. They may also experience physical symptoms such as bruises, abdominal pain, genital pain, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
Recovery from Sexual Assault
The road to recovery from a sexual assault is a long one, but it is possible. Survivors should seek medical attention after an assault to assess for any physical injuries and sexually transmitted infections. Psychological treatment is also an important part of the recovery process. It can help survivors process their emotions, learn coping strategies and skills to manage their symptoms, and gain self-confidence.
Sexual assault can have a devastating impact on women’s health and wellbeing. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, it is important to seek help and support. Understanding the physical and emotional effects of sexual assault, the signs of an assault, and how to seek help are all essential steps in the path toward healing.
Keywords: Sexual Assault, Women’s Health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Psychological Treatment, Recovery.