Sexual offenses cause harm to the victims’ physical and psychological functions. This study was conducted to evaluate the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database was used to conduct a nationwide population-based cohort study to assess the risk of incident psychiatric disorders in sexual assault victims and to further evaluate the respective risk estimates on the basis of diagnostic patterns. A total of 81 sexual assault victims and 324 controls matched by sex, age and residential area were included. The mean age of the sexual assault victims was 18.39 (sd 10.23) years, and 93.83% (76/81) of the sample were females. Sexual assault victims had a higher incidence density of psychiatric disorders than did the control group (9.2% per year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–33.2% per year v. 1.1% per year, 95% CI .4–15.7% per year; p=.037). Sexual assault was an independent risk factor for incident psychiatric disorders, with an incidence rate ratio of 3.40 (95% CI 1.04–26.41) after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Assessment of psychiatric disorders should be implemented in the integrative care of sexual assault victims. Physicians providing clinical care to the sexual assault victims should receive more all-round training to understand and manage this type of violence.