Sexual Assault Affects Memory More Intensely Than Other Kinds of Abuse, Research Shows

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

A recent study shows that women who have experienced sexual assault have more vivid memories when compared to women who have suffered from traumatic events that are non-sexual.

According to ScienceDaily, “The research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, found that women who had suffered from sexual violence, even those who were not diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), had more intense memories -- even decades after the violence occurred -- that are difficult, if not impossible to forget.”

Researchers looked at 183 women between the ages of 18-39. Sixty-four women stated that they had experienced some sort of sexual trauma. 119 women said they had never experienced any sexual violence.

Women who experienced sexual trauma said they had more more memories, and could even clearly see their attacker - decades later.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 30% of women will experience a physical or sexual assault during their lifetime.

For those who have experienced this type of trauma, what are the options?

One option comes from Tracey Shors - a co-author of the study and a professor in the Rutgers University Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience. Shors developed Mental and Physical Training (or MAP Training.) It includes 30 minutes of silent meditation, and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise - completed twice a week for 6 weeks. Participants have reported having “significantly fewer trauma-related thoughts and ruminations about the past.”

Shors says, "This problem will not go away soon and we must keep our attention focused on prevention and justice for survivors -- and their recovery."

Source: ScienceDaily


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