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The Terrifying Truth About Why Many Women Can’t ‘Fight Back’ During A Sexual Assault


RELATED: What You Need To Know About The Disturbing Sexual Assault Trend Called ‘Stealthing’

A whopping 70 percent reported experiencing significant temporary paralysis and 48 percent said they had “severe” temporary paralysis—meaning they were basically unable to move or speak at all—during the assault.

It gets even worse: The researchers also found that women who experienced paralysis during an assault were at a higher risk of having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. “Tonic immobility during rape is a common reaction associated with subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression,” researchers concluded.

The findings in this small study are disturbing, but the researchers also point out that it could help with legal proceedings in the future. Meaning, if a lawyer for an alleged attacker tries to argue that a sexual assault victim wasn’t raped because she didn’t fight back, there’s now scientific evidence to show there was a good reason for it.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). For more resources on sexual assault, visit RAINN and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.


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