Prevalence in abuse and violence survivors

What is prevalence?

This topic presents the evidence for the prevalence of PTSD in people exposed to abuse and violence. Prevalence represents the overall proportion of individuals in a population who have PTSD. It is different from incidence, which represents only the new cases that have developed over a particular time period. Point prevalence is the proportion of individuals in a population who have the disorder at a given point in time (e.g., at one-month post-trauma), while period prevalence is the proportion of individuals in a population who have the disorder over specific time periods (e.g., one to two months post-trauma). Lifetime prevalence is the proportion of individuals in a population who have ever had the disorder and lifetime morbid risk also includes those who had the disorder but were deceased at the time of the survey.

What is the evidence for the prevalence of PTSD in people exposed to abuse and violence?

Moderate to low quality finds the point prevalence of PTSD in people exposed to any violence is between 11.0% and 60.9% at one month post-exposure. By three months, point prevalence is between 5.8% and 30.4%, by six months it is between 1.9% and 23.9%, and by 12 months it is between 16.3% and 27.1%.

The prevalence of PTSD in people exposed to human trafficking is around 32%, and the prevalence of PTSD in children and adolescents in the welfare system is 4%. Many, but not all of the child welfare sample were exposed to abuse or violence, so this prevalence rate is diluted.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 4:09 am, 6th August 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Abuse Violence

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