Trauma affects everyone differently. While many women here in New Mexico and elsewhere live substantially normal lives after sexual abuse, others have a more difficult time moving past the event or events. In the aftermath of such a personal assault, women can manifest physical and psychological issues that could last for years.

Physical effects

Victims of sexual assault tend to experience physical problems more often than those who have not been through such a tragedy. These women often exhibit medical issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and eating disorders. They tend to visit emergency rooms and their primary care doctors more often as well.

Psychological effects

Psychological scars remain for years, too. Post-traumatic stress disorder tends to be a consequence of sexual assault far more often than from other traumas. The incidence of PTSD after a rape exceeds that of a soldier returning from combat. It should be noted that women are not the only ones who experienced sexual assault. Still, men tend to report the crime far less often and do not seem to share the same level of physical and psychological aftermath as women do.

Regardless of whether a woman or man who suffers from sexual abuse as a child or in adulthood, the aftermath can have devastating effects on the individual’s life. When a New Mexico resident goes through this kind of trauma, what happens afterward could have a significant bearing on how he or she will recover. Pursuing justice through the civil or criminal courts could go a long way toward helping a victim move forward.