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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Gender Violence

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition occurring after a traumatic event characterized by symptoms of reexperiencing, avoidance, emotional numbing, dysphoria, and hyperarousal. Traumatic events are stressful events that an individual perceives to be life threatening or that threaten one’s physical integrity. Gender violence is a type of traumatic event defined as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and/or human rights violations; it affects women and girls more frequently than men due to patriarchal social norms and power differences. Examples of gender violence include child abuse, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, stalking, human trafficking, and honor violence. While only 8% of the general population report PTSD, between 20% and 63% of victims of gender violence report PTSD. This entry begins with a ...

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