People who experience sexual violence are highly likely to experience psychological and/or mental health (MH) problems as a result. People who use MH services often have a history of sexual assault and are also likely to be revictimised as an adult. Yet despite there being a very clear association, MH services are not yet performing routine enquiry, and even if they do, are not confident about how to record and manage disclosures. There is some emerging evidence that people with MH problems are exposed to sexual violence in inpatient MH settings, perpetrated by both other patients or members of staff. In this editorial, we explore the evidence to support a wider focus on sexual violence as a part of routine care, as well as some recommendations about how staff can more effectively discuss sexual issues including that of sexual victimisation.
Hughes, E., Lucock, M., & Brooker, C. (2019). Sexual violence and mental health services: a call to action. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 28(6), 594-597. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796019000040