Study Finds Serious Long-Term Physical and Mental Health Problems in Victims of Sexual Assault and Harassment

In a study published in the January 2019 issue of the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers asked the question, “Do women with a history of sexual harassment or sexual assault have higher blood pressure, greater depression and anxiety, and poorer sleep than women without this history?’ They found that out of their sample of 304 non-smoking midlife women, those who had experienced workplace sexual harassment were more likely to develop hypertension and clinically poor sleep than those with no such experience. The women with a history of sexual assault were at higher odds of clinically depressive symptoms, anxiety, and poor sleep than those with no such history. Thus, the conclusion that sexual harassment and sexual assault do have implications for women’s health.

According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 92 seconds and that while 90% of rape victims are women, men are also raped, accounting for the remaining 10% which is approximately 2.78 million American men. Each April, RAINN observes Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month. This year they are encouraging Americans to speak out, support survivors, practice self-care methods, stay educated, and take action.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, always call 911 immediately to report the crime. For the National Sexual Assault Hotline, call 1800-656-4673. You can also choose to speak confidentially with one of our healthcare providers by scheduling an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics by visiting our website at or calling (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic and (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.