What are some of the effects of sexual assault? By Lauryn Miller

Sexual (violence) assault - an act in which a person is persuaded or physically forced to engage against their will, or non-consensual (sexual) touching of a person.

Physical effects of sexual assault:

  • Self-Harm
  • Bruising
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) also known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) - bacterial infections or diseases passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Ex: Gonorrhea, Herpes, HIV/AIDS, etc
  • Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorders - Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-eating, etc...
  • Sleep Disorders - Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Parasomnia, etc...

Mental/Emotional effects of sexual assault:

  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Acute Phase - Immediately after or during the attack, most victims feel shock, fear, panic, or anger. Some victims show this by appearing as if they are in a daze. One part of the acute phase is being unable to talk about the assault. Victims may also be afraid of being touched in any way. This phase that can last for several weeks.


Although we as a society cannot completely stop sexual assault, there are organizations who make programs which are designed to try and avoid being put in such a dangerous situation, like:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created Safe Dates, Shifting Boundaries, and Green Dot which are programs that are designed to, "reduce risk factors and promote protective factors for sexual violence," which is stated on their website.

Safe Dates - designed to prevent the start of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in relationships involving teenagers. This program is intended for 8th and 9th grade students.

Shifting Boundaries - designed to reduce the rate of sexual harassment among adolescent dating. Intended for middle school students.

Green Dot - designed to increase better bystander behavior, change social norms, and reduce sexual and other forms of interpersonal violence perpetration and/or victimization.


Sexual assault is never the victim's fault, no matter what was said or what clothing the woman wore-or how he or she was acting, whether there was alcohol involved, or if the perpetrator was not a stranger.

MLA works cited

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Sexual Violence: Prevention Strategies." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 07 June 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/prevention.html>.

Rainn.org. "The Criminal Justice System: Statistics | RAINN." The Criminal Justice System: Statistics | RAINN. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Jan. 2017. <https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system>.

Aamft.org. "Rape Trauma." Rape Trauma. N.p., 2002-2017. Web. 2 Jan. 2017. <http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/consumer_updates/rape_trauma.aspx>.

Foundation, Joyful Heart. Effects of sexual assault and rape. Joyful Heart Foundation, 2016. Web. 2 Jan. 2017. <http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/sexual-assault-rape/effects-sexual-assault-and-rape>.

Stars-elpaso.org. Effects of sexual assault - sexual trauma and assault response services - STARS. n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2017. <http://www.stars-elpaso.org/get/effects-of-sexual-assault>.

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Lauryn Miller

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