Oct 4, 2018

The lasting health effects of sexual assault

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sexual assault and harassment continue to take a toll on victims’ physical and mental health well after the experience itself is over, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: The direct health effects of sexual assault and harassment, including an increased risk of depression and anxiety, haven't gotten as much attention as their emotional and professional damage. But all of those consequences can feed and compound each other.

The details: In a study of 304 women, 19% said they had been sexually harassed at work, and 22% reported being a victim of sexual assault.

  • Women who had been the victims of sexual assault were three times more likely to show signs of clinical depression, compared to women who hadn’t been assaulted. They were twice as likely to have elevated anxiety.
  • Harassment, meanwhile, was tied to higher blood pressure.
  • Both groups of women reported much poorer sleep — which, like depression and high blood pressure, often contributes to other health problems.

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Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

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World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

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The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

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Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.