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Summary: The Effects Of Sexual Assault On Mental Health

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The Effects of Sexual Assault on Mental Health
Introduction
Unfortunately, sexual assault occurs in the lives of many people, causing bodily and psychological harm. “The relationship between mental health and sexual assault is both considerable and complex” as noted by Brown, Du Mont, Macdonald, & Bainbridge (2013. p. 76). Research has proven this over and over again (Brown et al, 2013). This article defines sexual assault, along with the various physical and psychological impacts that it has on the victim using data collected from multiple scholarly journals and resources. Furthermore, the nurse’s role in working with such patients will be discussed an addition to the barriers to effective treatment and how the Canadian healthcare system is lacking to meet the needs of patients.
Etiology
Sexual assault is defined as “unwanted touching of another in a sexual manner with or without forced vaginal or anal intercourse” (Wadsworth, & Van Order, 2012, p. 433). Other contexts also encompass forced viewing or involvement of pornography (Linden, 2011). Although both men and women can be victims of sexual assault, women tend to be victimized more. A
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Approximately two thirds of rape victims who report to the emergency room have some form of bodily trauma (Linden, 2011). This includes but is not limited to attempted strangulation, injuries to the head, face, torso, or limbs, penetrating injuries, defensive injuries, such as lacerations, abrasions, and bruises, and bite marks (Linden, 2011). In addition, sexual assault can increase the victim’s risk for unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and urinary tract infections (Wadsworth et al, 2012). With the negative impacts that these conditions can have on the body, it can be imagined that a domino effect will result in psychological alterations. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses assess for these risks and treat them
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