Estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that 1 in 3 women—more than one billion people worldwide—have experienced some form of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Threat processing is central to understanding debilitating fear- and trauma-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Progress has been made in understanding the neural circuits underlying the “engram” of threat or fear memory formation that complements a decades-old appreciation of the neurobiology of fear and threat involving hub structures such as the amygdala.
Elsevier, Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Volume 41, 1 April 2016
Sexual aggression and violence against women (VAM) are not only social problems; they are mental health problems. Women who experience sexual trauma often express disruptions in emotional and cognitive processes, some of which lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Animal models of neurogenesis and learning suggest that social yet aggressive interactions between a pubescent female and an adult male can disrupt processes of learning related to maternal care, which in turn reduce survival of new neurons in the female hippocampus.