Current events have brought sexual abuse onto center stage, so I wanted to drill down on the relationship between sexual abuse and eating disorders. Jenni Schaefer and I, both senior fellows at The Meadows, saw each other at Meet the Masters in New York City last week, and we thought that a conversation between us might be a friendly, accessible and helpful way to do this. I asked Jenni some questions, and here are the highlights of that exchange. Do you see this? Jenni: While not everyone with an eating disorder has experienced sexual abuse, for those who have, eating-disordered behaviors can act as a way to cope in the aftermath.
Author information: 1 St. Joseph Center for Eating Disorders, St. The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical impact of child sex abuse on bulimic patients. Specifically, differences in treatment response and preliminary treatment outcome between hospitalized bulimic patients with and without a reported history of sexual abuse were examined. The patients were evaluated for past history of alleged sexual abuse by investigator-based interview and ratings of severity of sexual abuse were made.
The cohort was defined in a 2-stage cluster sample using 44 Australian schools in Victoria. The mean SD age of females at the start of follow-up was The association persisted after adjusting for possible confounders or mediators measured 6 months earlier, including psychiatric morbidity and dieting behavior.
The MeToo movement has plenty of people talking about the prevalence of sexual violence and what they can do to help prevent it. But there are still many aspects of sexual violence that have been left unaddressed in this national conversation. And one of these areas is the connection between eating disorders and sexual violence. Understanding the connection between sexual trauma and eating disorders is vital for those working with survivors of sexual assault and individuals recovering from an eating disorder. Offering meaningful support to survivors on their healing journey means seeing them as a whole person and understanding the many ways trauma impacts their daily lives.