Female Survivors of Sexual Assault Sought For UB Study

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: October 31, 1997

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Female survivors of sexual and physical assault ages 18 and older are being sought by researchers in the Center for Anxiety Research at the University at Buffalo to participate in a study designed to help women experiencing psychological distress as a result of a rape or other physical assault.

Study participants will provide information that researchers expect will improve existing treatments for common, post-assault problems experienced by victims.

During the study, which will require participants to make six visits to the UB North (Amherst) Campus, women will be asked to emotionally process life events through structured writing tasks. The first and last visits will be for the purpose of assessment, while during the other four visits, women will be asked to write for 20 minutes in a private room. Some will be asked to write about their sexual or physical assault.

Although this research is not a substitute for treatment, it is expected that some women will show a reduction in psychological stress after undergoing the intervention, said doctoral student Jessica Hamblen, who is heading the study.

Participants must be at least three months post-assault and must have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They may be in therapy, but it is not a requirement for participation.

The study involves completely confidential interviews conducted according to a flexible schedule in a safe, quiet atmosphere in the Psychological Services Center in Park Hall on the North Campus.

The researchers are advanced, female graduate students in clinical psychology specializing in the needs of women who have been assaulted.

Up-to-date information and referrals to free or low-cost treatment resources for survivors of sexual and physical assault will be provided to participants.

For more information, or to participate in the study, call Hamblen at 645-3650, ext. 337.