APA Reacts to Media Coverage of Sexual Trauma, Calls for Survivors to Seek Mental Health Assistance

Washington, D.C. – Media coverage of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony has triggered sexual trauma memories for many survivors. According to the CDC, survivors of sexual trauma can experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sexual trauma may be a factor for many individuals who experience depression, anxiety, addictions, and eating disorders. Only 23 percent of rape and sexual assault incidents were reported to the police according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via a confidential online chat.

“We encourage anyone who has been affected by sexual trauma to report the assault to the police and seek mental health assistance,” said American Psychiatric Association (APA) President Altha Stewart, M.D. “Proven, effective treatments are available for PTSD, depression and other mental illnesses. Most trauma survivors can and do recover. If you are struggling to cope with trauma, help is available.”

American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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