Waking Up to the Sexual Violence in America’s Psychiatric Units

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From KevinMD.com: “It wasn’t until I first had to manage the aftermath of a sexual assault on a psychiatric unit one night during my residency that I realized psychiatry might have a problem with sexual safety.

My fellow residents and I had never been informed of a management policy for inpatient sexual assaults, and my program’s curriculum was silent on how to handle the issue …

As far as I know, the victim never got justice, and I still think about our mismanagement frequently … After this initial incident, I spoke with colleagues from across the country and found that they had received little or no training on this problem …

While there is no recent research assessing the frequency of sexual assault on America’s short-term psychiatric units, a 2005 study found that 8% of patients reported being forced into sexual contact by another patient while in a psychiatric facility, with 3% reporting such coercion by staff members. Similarly, a 2012 survey of directors of U.S. state long-term psychiatric hospitals found that 7% of patients were estimated to have been victims of major sexual misconduct within the last year …

When victims do decide to press charges, authorities often judge them to be unreliable witnesses in spite of convincing evidence and prosecutions cease. Staff members are also unlikely to report assaults to authorities, with fear of blame and civil litigation being strong factors.

Less obvious is the fact that psychiatric units are isolated worlds, where desensitization of staff often causes otherwise shocking behaviors to lose the gravity they carry in the community.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. “It is surprising that … the topic of rape of hospitalized psychiatric patients has not been reported in the professional literature.”

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    No it’s not surprising. Since the primary actual societal function of both the psychologists and psychiatrists, historically and today, is systemically profiteering off of covering up child abuse and rape. Why in the world would they discuss the rape of hospitalized psychiatric patients in the medical literature? The “mental health” workers are rape covering up profiteers, not rape reporters. And this is all by DSM design.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

    “… Other interventions — increasing staffing, constructing new psychiatric units with better surveillance systems … The insurance industry’s shameful legacy of underfunding mental health care has ensured that its delivery in many places is not nearly as safe or effective as it could be, with sexual assaults being only one tragic downstream consequence.”

    Always turn the crimes you commit, and/or create, into a reason for more psychiatric funding for yourself. No, the answer is to end the funding to the “invalid” and “bullshit,” iatrogenic illness creating, “mental health” industry.

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