A comparative analysis of victims of sexual assault with and without mental health histories: acute and follow-up care characteristics

J Forensic Nurs. Apr-Jun 2013;9(2):76-83. doi: 10.1097/JFN.0b013e31828106df.


Sexual assault is a common and serious health issue that is underreported and has low follow-up rates. The myriad of psychological sequelae of sexual assault are well documented; however, there is a dearth of literature on the prevalence of preexisting mental health issues in survivors of sexual assault. This exploratory study compares victims seen at a sexual assault treatment center with and without preexisting self-reported mental health histories. The rates of preexisting mental illness in sexual assault victims are significant. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Young Adult


  • Psychotropic Drugs