Cancer risk increases when the immune system is compromised by stress, loss of sleep, depression, inability to eat, poor nutrition. When a woman is traumatized by sexual violence and sexual assault, particularly if it was perpetrated by someone she trusted such as her partner or a family member her immune system will be compromised and her risk of many diseases, including cancer will increase.
These are horrifying and sobering findings. Now we have to include sexual assault as one of the indirect risk factors for illness, including cancer risk.
CDC Releases New Report: 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted On Wednesday, the Center for Diseases Control (CDC) released The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), an exhaustive report on rape and intimate partner violence, affirming what many organizations and advocates have long suspected, that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and is more common then previously thought.
The findings, based on interviews with 9,086 women and 7,421 men in 2010, found that nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. 1 percent of women surveyed reported being raped in the previous year, a figure that suggests that 1.3 million American women annually may be victims of rape or attempted rape. This figure is nearly five times larger then the previous estimate of 272,350, a national statistic on sexual violence against women in the U.S. from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In light of these disturbing findings, we urge all of our activists and organizers to use this information to fuel your passion and dedication to end the violence. These numbers illustrate how much work we have ahead of us, however we have seen time and again how even just a few passionate, empowered people can change the world. V-Season is almost upon us, if you are already an organizer or on a V-Team vow today to make this years V-Day event your biggest, boldest yet. If you are not already involved, get involved, organize or find an event near you to join. Speak up, speak out, speak truth to power, and change the story of women!
READ MORE: Cancer, Stress and Depression