Cyber Sexual Assault: An Extension of Gender- Based Violence and Sexual Trauma
Kelley Holladay, PhD, Bryce Hagedorn, PhD, and Kristina Nelson, PhD
With the recent phenomena of cyber sexual assault and the lack of laws and a comprehensive knowledge of cyber sexual assault can have a devastating impact on victims’ psychological well-being. Findings from a quantitative study measuring the impact of cyber sexual assault will be shared. This seminal work serves to engage counselor educators in challenging how we define trauma as well as to provide empirical support that serves to guide how future clinicians are prepared for both evaluation and treatment of cyber sexual assault.
1.Increase counselors and counselor educators’ awareness of the definition of Cyber Sexual Assault; as well as the role of technology in violence against women. Cyber-sexual assault (e.g., “nonconsensual pornography” or “revenge porn”) is the nonconsensual sharing of sexually explicit images online, through social medial, or other forms of technology. Technology has impacted violence against women through avenues like cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking, and cyber-sexual assault is another form of technology-based violence that occurs within relationships.
2.Provide resources for counselors and counselor educators to utilize when working with clients who have experienced cyber-sexual assault. This extensive handout will include: (a) research with supporting references, (b) counseling implications/interventions, and (c) references to include specialists in legal support, photo removal, and counseling.
3.Increase counselors and counselor educators' awareness about the symptoms survivors may experience post cyber sexual assault, and how these mimic trauma. Thus, the third goal is to disseminate research findings regarding the psychological aftermath for survivors of cyber-sexual assault. Specifically, four theoretical constructs derived from sexual assault outcome literature established this research study on the mental health outcomes of cyber-sexual assault victims: (a) emotional dysregulation, (b) depression, (c) trauma guilt, and (d) PTSD. It is well documented that the trauma of sexual assault is longstanding, generating numerous mental health issues (e.g., sexual dysfunction, depression, suicidality, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional dysregulation, and trauma guilt) among survivors (Eaton et al., 2004; Kubany et al., 1996; Russel & Davis, 2007). Similarly, researchers have now identified mental health consequences among victims of cyber-sexual assault.
1 NBCC Hours; 0 CRCC Hours; 1 WA Hours; 0 APT Hours; 0 NAADAC Hours; 1 NY Hours; 0 Ethics Hours