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Dr. Elaine Westerlund
Why do survivors of childhood sexual abuse visit medical caregivers four times as often as nonsurvivors and twice as often as adult survivors of rape? Consider these findings from several recent studies:
56% of survivors have undiagnosed stomach problems

36% of survivors suffer from spastic colon

30% of survivors have ulcers

83% of survivors suffer from insomnia

69% of survivors have nightmares

59% of survivors have chronic muscle tension

72% of survivors have tension headaches

56% of survivors suffer from migraines

39% of survivors have eating disorders

and 80% of survivors suffer from sexual dysfunctions.

Survivors experience pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, breast disease, yeast infections, bladder infections, and miscarriages twice as often as nonsurvivors and have more frequent and earlier hysterectomies than nonsurvivors.

Adults with complex trauma histories are more than twice as likely to smoke cigarettes, more than seven times as likely to become alcoholic, and more than twelve times as likely to attempt suicide than adults without trauma histories.

Survivors suffer twice the rate of cancer, heart disease, and chronic bronchitis that nonsurvivors do.


The workshop presenter will be Dr. Elaine Westerlund, cofounder of Incest Resources, Inc., the first survivor organization in the country, and the author of Women's Sexuality After Childhood Incest. An incest survivor herself, Elaine has worked with survivors of childhood sexual abuse since 1980, including providing consultation, treatment, and education related to survivor health issues and survivor sexuality. Elaine is a licensed psychologist with dual board certification as a specialist in sexual abuse and trauma/PTSD and a diplomate of the American Association of Integrative Medicine. She is the recipient of the 1999 Outstanding Alumni Award in Health Sciences from Northeastern University, where she earned her undergraduate degree and the Dean's Citation Award for the Health Professions in 1980. Elaine has been profiled in numerous books and publications, among them Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Five Hundred Leaders of Influence, "Fifty-One Sage Psychotherapists" (Self Magazine), and "Thirty-Nine Top Doctors & Lawyers (The Boston Phoenix). Join her and find out how to make health care treatment more manageable as a survivor and more productive in terms of healing.

For information on the workshop and other free workshops being offered by the sponsors of Women's Health Day, call the Women's Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts at (617) 354-6394.