(CNN)– Being pushed into a room, thrown onto a bed and groped: Those are the kinds of details that get embedded in a sexual assault survivor’s memory.
Peripheral information, like what day it was or what someone wore, may fall away or grow fuzzy, especially with time. But the most distressing moments get “locked in” and remain “very salient,” explained Dean Kilpatrick, a clinical psychologist and director of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Kilpatrick, a senior investigator in the medical school’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has spent more than 40 years working with sexual assault survivors. He knows the subject well.
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