Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 718-722

Psychopathology, perceived social support, and coping in survivors of adult sexual assault: A cross-sectional hospital-based study

1 Department of Psychiatry, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, H. B. T. Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suyog Vijay Jaiswal
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_432_19

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Background: Adult sexual assault (ASA) is often associated with negative mental health consequences. The psychological needs of ASA survivors are overlooked while the legal and social needs focused on. Methodology: It is a cross-sectional study. The ASA survivors who came for medical evaluation were included in the study after obtaining consent. Fifty ASA survivors were interviewed for the study. Psychopathology, perceived social support, and coping mechanisms were assessed during interview using especially designed semi-structured pro forma. Results: The mean age of participants was 25.6 ± 7.2 years. Forty-one of 50 survivors suffered from major depressive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder or both with 33 expressing suicidal ideas. Maximum social support was perceived from family and least from significant others such as health-care workers, police, and judiciary. Problem solving and expressive action are associated with better perceived social support by family as well as friends. Conclusion: Depression and suicidal ideas among majority the survivors of ASA highlight the mental devastation the sexual assault causes to a woman. Although family is primary social support to them, health-care workers and law enforcement officials are not perceived as supportive toward the survivors. Routine mental health assistance and empathetic approach by all parties involved in the management of survivors are needed in these cases.



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