Sexual Assault And Harassment May Have Lasting Health Repercussions For Women

Sexual Assault And Harassment May Have Lasting Health Repercussions For Women

The trauma of sexual assault or harassment is not only hard to forget; it may also leave lasting effects on a woman’s health. This finding of a study published Wednesday adds support to a growing body of evidence suggesting the link.

In the study of roughly 300 middle-aged women, an experience of sexual assault was associated with anxiety, depression and poor sleep. A history of workplace sexual harassment was also associated with poor sleep and with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

“These are experiences that [a woman] could have had long ago … and it can have this long arm of influence throughout a woman’s life,” says Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study, and a research psychologist and director of the Women’s Behavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

Full story at npr.org