U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Interventions to Reduce Distress in Adult Victims of Sexual Violence and Rape: A Systematic Review

NCJ Number
Cheryl Regehr; Ramona Alaggia; Jane Dennis; Annabel Pitts; Michael Saini
William Turner
Date Published
March 2013
134 pages
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of interventions to reduce distress in adult victims of sexual violence and rape.

This review examined the effectiveness of interventions to reduce distress in adult victims of sexual violence and rape. A literature review was conducted to identify studies investigating the effectiveness of interventions focused specifically on victims of sexual assault or rape. The review found six studies that met the criteria for inclusion in this analysis. Two studies evaluated Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), three studies evaluated Prolonged Exposure (PE), two studies evaluated Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT), one study evaluated Supportive Psychotherapy (SP), and two studies examined Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. The review found that all the treatments had a statistically significant effect on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressions symptoms. In addition, the review found that in the four studies that included anxiety as an outcome, all treatment methods significantly improved treatment outcomes for anxiety. Other outcomes that were evaluated in the different studies and showed improvement with the use of these therapies included guilt and dissociation. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. Figures, references, and appendixes