Neuropsychiatric Investigation
Original Article

Psychiatric Problems, Somatic Symptoms, and Suicidal Behavior in Women Exposed to Sexual Assault


Department of Psychiatry, Private practice, İstanbul, Türkiye


Department of Psychiatry, İstanbul University Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Türkiye


Department of Psychiatry, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar University Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Türkiye

Neuropsychiatric Investigation 2024; 62: 60-66
DOI: 10.5152/NI.2024.24011
Read: 243 Downloads: 193 Published: 25 June 2024

Objective: We aimed to compare the characteristics of sexual assault, psychiatric disorders, somatic complaints, and descriptive features of suicidal behavior between women who have experienced sexual assault and those who have not.

Methods: The study included 50 women, divided between those with and without a history of sexual assault, who were selected from female patients aged 18 and above seeking treatment at the Istanbul University Psychiatry Clinic. Sociodemographic and clinical forms were administered to individuals in both groups, supplemented by Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision), Suicidal Behavior Scale, and Somatoform Dissociation Scale to assess psychiatric diagnoses. Additionally, those with a history of sexual assault were given the Post Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale.

Results: Half of the women participating in the study had experienced sexual assault before the age of 18, with 74% reporting that the perpetrator was a family member. Among those who experienced sexual assault, post-traumatic stress disorder was the most prevalent diagnosis, followed by conversion disorder. Both conditions were notably more prevalent compared to the group without a history of sexual assault (P < .001). The scores for current suicidal ideation and the expression of suicidal ideation were significantly higher in the group with a history of sexual violence (P < .05).

Conclusion: When examining women experiencing severe depression and somatic symptoms, it is important to incorporate an assessment of their experiences of sexual assault. Furthermore, it is imperative to carefully consider the suicide risk inherent in these women.

Cite this article as: Bıkmaz PS, Yüksel Ş, Direk Tecirli N, Cesur E. Psychiatric problems, somatic symptoms, and suicidal behavior in women exposed to sexual assault. Neuropsychiatr Invest. 2024;62(2):60-66.


EISSN 2792-0070