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A 39-year-old member asked:

Could a sexual assault cause someone to commit suicide?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Wayne Ingram
Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Get counselling: It is not uncommon to still have "issues" post sexual assault, even 40 years later. It can harm future "normal relationships" psychologically. Please seek out a therapist or inexpensive "counseling service".
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Not the cause: Suicide is a person's choice, and almost always a bad one. Someone who's been made to feel worthless by abuse -- of whatever sort -- is the most likely to take this wrong course of action. The vast majority (99%) of physically-healthy people who made real attempts on their lives were glad, one year later, that they failed.
Dr. Denise Elser
Specializes in Gynecology
Yes: Sexual assault could cause someone to commit suicide but please know that a victim of sexual assault is a victim!. A victim should never feel like they need to punish themselves especially in the most severe way as suicide. Help is avaiable. The attacker should be punished, not the victim.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
YES: Sexual assault can bring on unspeakable feelings of shame and dirtiness. And if the victim tells somebody and is ridiculed, ignored, or otherwise not properly attended to, it's like being violated all over again, and suicides can happen for reasons as such.

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Last updated Jun 26, 2015

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