Advertisement

What other problems might I encounter following a sexual assault?

Previous sexual assault can also have an impact on regular women's health exams. Getting a Pap test done and having a pelvic exam can be more distressing and/or result in hostile or defensive behavior. It is important to have these screening tests done so telling your health care provider of a previous assault is essential. The two of you will be able to avoid negative behaviors that interfere with tests and exams. Your provider may also be able to connect you with assistance in dealing with residual emotional effects from a previous assault.

In addition to initial or prolonged feelings of anger, shame and guilt, many victims of sexual assault may experience problems in their personal and professional relationships because they find it difficult to trust. Sexual problems may arise as some women fear sexual activity or have a decreased desire. 

A study found that, compared to women with no sexual assault history, rape survivors were 3.4 times more likely to use marijuana, 6 times more likely to use cocaine, and 10 times more likely to use other major drugs. The National Women's Study reported that almost 1/3 of all rape victims develop PTSD sometime during their lives and 11% of rape victims currently suffer from the disorder.

Continue Learning about Sexual Assault

Why Is It So Hard to Define Sexual Assault?
Why Is It So Hard to Define Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault. Rape. Sexual violence. What does each term mean? “These terms are really different preferences for how to describe what is essentiall...
Read More
Is filing a claim the same as eligibility for sexual trauma compensation?
Challenge AmericaChallenge America
No, filing a claim for benefits is not the same as eligibility for military sexual trauma compensati...
More Answers
How do I determine eligibility for VA treatment of military sexual trauma?
Challenge AmericaChallenge America
According to the VA, any veteran who believes he/she has experienced military sexual trauma can appl...
More Answers
Inside the Shocking Bill Cosby Case
Inside the Shocking Bill Cosby Case

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.