An Overview of Treatments for Rape and Sexual Assault Survivors
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It is crucial for psychologists and researchers to study how to reduce the mental and emotional trauma that comes when someone is sexually violated. Recently, there has been a great deal of media attention to this growing issue on college and university campuses. While there are various factors of why this crime happens, the psychological harm that sexual violence causes survivors can ruin their cognitive, emotional, and physical functioning in and out of school. This paper reviews the literature describing different treatments that have been used in the past for survivors of sexual violence. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most widely diagnosed psychological disorder after rape or sexual assault (Resnick, Acierno, Holmes, Kilpatrick, & Jager, 1999). The main treatments discussed are Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing, which are all catered towards helping patients with PTSD. The goal of this literature review is to describe the positive outcomes of these therapies and encourage institutions of higher learning to create sexual assault support groups on campus for survivors to heal together.