​Cumulative trauma: the impact of child sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, and spouse abuse

Author(s) Follette, Victoria M., Melissa A. Polusny, Anne E. Bechtle, and Amy E. Naugle
Title Cumulative trauma: the impact of child sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, and spouse abuse
Source Journal of Traumatic Stress; 1996; Vol 8; No. 1; p25-35
Date 1996
Document type Journal article
CoverageUSA
Summary This article explores the prevalence of a broad range of victimisation experience in a sample of women seeking psychological and advocacy services. In the study 210 female participants were recruited from psychological clinics and community advocacy agencies. An additional control sample was recruited from a pool of university students. The results showed that overall 73% of the participants reported at least one type of victimisation during childhood or as an adult. 49% of the participants reported a history of child sexual abuse, 17% adult sexual assault and 55% physical abuse by a partner. It was found that women seeking psychological and advocacy services reported higher levels of trauma symptoms than the university students. The results also showed that the trauma of an interpersonal nature appeared to be cumulative in its impact. The authors discuss the implications for subsequent psychological functioning and the implications for treatment, suggesting the need for more specific treatment planning for survivors of multiple victimisation incidents.
Keywords Victimisation; multiple victimisation; trauma; sexual abuse; sexual assault; domestic violence
Topic Victimisation