Rape Trauma Syndrome
DOI link for Rape Trauma Syndrome
Rape Trauma Syndrome book
The clinical definition of rape trauma is the focus of this chapter — stress response pattern of the victim following forced, non-consenting sexual activity. This rape trauma syndrome of somatic, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral symptoms is an active stress reaction to a life-threatening situation. The early conceptualizations of the stress response patterns of rape victims are consistent with the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of the DSM-III within the major category of Anxiety Disorders. The chapter discusses cardinal criteria with documentation from clinical research data. Crisis intervention is clearly the treatment of choice when a rape is disclosed immediately after it has occurred. Within the acute period, issues unique to the crisis need to be resolved and integrated or the victim will fail to return to a pre-crisis level of functioning. The chapter also discusses the subtypes of rape trauma and special treatment needs.