International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Briefing Paper: Sexual Assault and Harassment


Download the Briefing Paper (PDF)
Download the References (PDF)

Briefing Paper Working Group Members

Heather Littleton, Ph.D.
East Carolina University, United States

Naaemah Abrahams, Ph.D.
University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Mindy Bergman, Ph.D.
Texas A & M University, United States

Lucy Berliner, M.S.W.
University of Washington, United States

Margaret Blaustein, Ph.D.
Center for Trauma Training, United States

Judith Cohen, M.D.
Drexel University, United States

Emily Dworkin, Ph.D.
University of Washington, United States

Barbara Krahé, Ph.D.
University of Potsdam, Germany

Noemí Pereda, Ph.D.
University of Barcelona, Spain

Zoë Peterson, Ph.D.
Indiana University, United States

Afroditi Pina, Ph.D.
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Shireen Rizvi, Ph.D.
Rutgers University, United States

Terri Weaver, Ph.D.
Saint Louis University, United States

Michele Ybarra, Ph.D.
Center for Innovative Public Health Research, United States

Heidi Zinzow, Ph.D.
Clemson University, United States

Additional Contributors

Brittany Goss, M.A., M.S.
East Carolina University, United States

Kayla Sall, B.A.
East Carolina University, United States

Rose L. Suita, M.A.
Texas A & M University, United States

Overview

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse, unwanted sexual contact and rape experience elevated risk for multiple psychological disorders, including PTSD. Trauma-focused psychotherapeutic interventions have the strongest evidence base for the treatment of psychological distress associated with sexual assault and abuse.

In response to recent events, ISTSS has developed a briefing paper on the mental and physical health impact sexual assault and harassment. The briefing paper, released at the ISTSS 34th Annual Meeting in a panel with the authors, reviews empirically supported treatments, common barriers to treatment seeking and global priorities for addressing sexual assault in the areas of policy, research and practice.