June 24, 2017

Wilson and Students Publish Paper on Sexual Violence

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, has published a paper with recent graduates of the University of Mary Washington. During their senior year, Hannah Walker, Jennifer Freud, Robyn Ellis and Shawn Fraine completed a large-scale project on sexual violence under Wilson’s guidance. The paper, “The Prevalence of Sexual Revictimization: A Meta-Analytic Review,” was recently published in a top tier peer-reviewed trauma journal called Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Robyn Ellis and Shawn Fraine also co-presented the study with Wilson at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference in Dallas in November. The primary research question for the project was: What percentage of child sexual abuse survivors experience sexual violence again later in life? This phenomenon is called sexual revictimization. During the study, the students read almost 1,500 research articles about child sexual abuse. They then used a review process that narrowed it down to 80 relevant studies and used a statistical approach called meta-analysis. The results showed that almost half of child sexual abuse survivors are sexually victimized again in the future. These results confirm the high risk of sexual revictimization among child sexual abuse survivors and highlight the importance of increased awareness about this issue in society.