Webinar – Trauma burden among survivors of sexual violence and abuse accessing SARCs, and outcomes one year later – Dr. Lorna O’doherty

Date: Wednesday 12th, July 2023

Time: 4:00-5:00pm

The MESARCH project was commissioned to evaluate SARCs, which are
accessed by around 55,000 survivors of sexual offences in England each year. Evidence within the project derived from 6 major substudies, and drew on the experiences and data of 6,901 survivors.

This presentation explores our cohort study which featured three waves of data collection over one-year (21 SARCs, 2,602 service users screened, 337 people recruited). It used a multilevel-modelling framework to explore risk factors for PTSD burden at baseline and change at one year.

A clear picture emerged of a risk ‘triad’ with adverse childhood experiences, chronic mental health problems and economic deprivation affecting people’s PTSD presentations to a greater degree than aspects of the offence (e.g. relation to perpetrator; time since trauma) though these were still important.

Whilst there were clinically important improvements in trauma symptoms, difficulties persisted for half of participants one year later. The work calls for attention to the wider context of people’s lives and timely access to a range of therapies and advocacy through multi-agency/sector partnerships
together with a life-course, intersectional approach to supporting healing and recovery. MESARCH provides a basis for advancing trauma -informed research and enhancing.

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