It has been found that in cases exposed to sexual abuse, suicidal ideation developed in 63.2% (n = 67) of the individuals and 24.5% (n = 26) of them attempted suicide. The rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was higher in cases who live separately from one or both parents, those who have ASD or PTSD after sexual abuse, cases in which abuse involved penetration, cases who were abused by someone known or someone from the family, cases where sexual abuse was accompanied by coercion and physical violence, and those who were exposed to abuse continuously. Among girls, in cases who have suicide history before sexual abuse and those who were abused by more than one abuser, the rate of suicidal ideation was higher.
Suicide is a public health scourge that rests on myriad factors. Since 1999, the incidence of suicide in the United States has increased rapidly, picking up even more speed since 2010. Suicide has increased among nearly every age group, but middle-aged white men appear to be a particularly vulnerable group.
Survivors of sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence are two to four times more likely to take their own lives than non-abused individuals. The likelihood of suicide is more strongly correlated with early sexual trauma when the abuse is repetitive and the perpetrator is a family member. Sexual abuse by a priest is comparable to incest given the historic role of a priest as the spiritual “father” of all Catholics in his care. Additional risk factors for suicide, like alcohol and substance abuse, depression, impulsivity, relational losses, job instability or loss, previous suicide attempts, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders and social isolation, are also common consequences of sexual abuse.