Rape victims failed to report incident due to traumatic experience

The emotional scars can stay with us a lifetime.

Rape victims failed to report incident due to traumatic experience

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Initially described as resulting from a onetime severe traumatic incident, PTSD has now been shown to be triggered by chronic multiple traumas as well. The human response to psychological trauma is one of the most important public health problems in the world.

Traumatic events such as family and social violence, rapes and assaults, disasters, wars, accidents and predatory violence confront people with such horror and threat that it may temporarily or permanently alter their capacity to cope, their biological threat perception, and their concepts of themselves.

Traumatized individuals frequently develop posttraumatic stress disorder PTSDa disorder in which the memory of the traumatic event comes to dominate the victims' consciousness, depleting their lives of meaning and pleasure.

Prevalence Traumatic events are very common in most societies, though prevalence has been best studied in industrialized societies, particularly in the USA.

Men are physically assaulted more often than women Men sustain twice as many severe injuries than women do. For women and children, but not for men, trauma that results from violence within intimate relationships is a much more serious problem than traumatic events inflicted by strangers or accidents: Four out of five assaults on children are at the hands of their own parents.

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Over a third of the victims of domestic assault experienced serious injury, compared with a quarter of victims of stranger assault. Domestic abuse and child abuse are closely related: Many people experience horrendous events without seeming to develop lasting effects of their traumatization.

The most common effects of traumatization are included in the symptom picture described in the diagnosis of PTSD. However, depression, increased aggression against self and others, depersonalization, dissociation, compulsive behavioral repetition of traumatic scenarios, as well as a decline in family and occupational functioning, may occur without victims meeting fullblown criteria for PTSD.

Women have twice the risk of developing PTSD following a trauma than men do. The symptomatology of the trauma response When people are faced with life-threatening or other traumatic experiences, they primarily focus on survival and self -protection.

They experience a mixture of numbness, withdrawal, confusion, shock, and speechless terror. Some victims try to cope by taking action, while others dissociate.

Posttraumatic stress disorder and the nature of trauma

Neither response absolutely prevents the subsequent development of PTSD, though problem-focused coping reduces the chance of developing PTSD, while dissociation during a traumatic event is an important predictor for the development of subsequent PTSD. When the traumatic event is the result of an attack by a family member on whom victims also depend for economic and other forms of security, as occurs in victims of intrafamilial abuse, victims are prone to respond to assaults with increased dependence and with a paralysis in their decisionmaking processes.

Thus, some aspects of how people respond to trauma are quite predictable, but individual, situational, and social factors play a major role in the shaping the symptomatology.

Rape victims, as well as children and women abused by male partners, often develop long-term reactions that include fear, anxiety, fatigue, sleep and eating disturbances, intense startle reactions, and physical complaints. They often continue to dissociate in the face of threat, suffer from profound feelings of helplessness and have difficulty planning effective action.

This emotion-focused coping accounts for the fact that people who develop PTSD are vulnerable to engage in alcohol and substance abuse. Between a quarter and half of all patients who seek substance abuse treatment suffer from a comorbid PTSD diagnosis.

The relationship between substance abuse and PTSD is reciprocal: Over the years, numerous studies have demonstrated that the diagnostic construct of PTSD is clinically relevant to individuals who have suffered single incident traumas such as rape, physical assaults, torture, and motor vehicle accidents.

However, it has also become clear that in clinical settings most treatment-seeking patients have been exposed to a range of different traumatic events over their life span, and suffer from a variety of psychological problems, only some of which are covered in the definition of PTSD.

These include affect dysregulation, aggression against self and others, amnesia and dissociation, somatization, depression, distrust, shame, and self-hatred. These other problems can either be conceptualized as comorbid conditions, or as part of a spectrum of trauma-related problems, that occur depending on the age at which the trauma occurred, the relationship to the agent responsible for the trauma, social support received, and the duration of the traumatic experience s.

The diagnosis of PTSD is characterized by three major elements: The repeated reliving of memories of the traumatic experience. These tend to involve intense sensory and visual memories of the event, which are often accompanied by extreme physiological and psychological distress, and sometimes by a feeling of emotional numbing, during which there usually is no physiological arousal.

These intrusive memories may occur spontaneously or can be triggered by a range of real and symbolic stimuli. Avoidance of reminders of the trauma, as well as of emotional numbing, detachment, and emotional blunting, often coexist with intrusive recollections. This is associated with an inability to experience joy and pleasure, and with a general withdrawal from engagement with life.

Over time, these features may become the dominant symptoms of PTSD. A pattern of increased arousal is the third element of PTSD. This is expressed by hypervigilance, irritability, memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbances, and an exaggerated startle response.

In the more chronic forms of the disorder, this pattern of hyperarousal and the avoidance may be the dominant clinical features. Hyperarousal causes traumatized people to become easily distressed by unexpected stimuli. Their tendency to be triggered into reliving traumatic memories illustrates how their perceptions become excessively focused on the involuntary seeking out of the similarities between the present and their traumatic past.

As a consequence, many neutral experiences become reinterpreted as being associated with the traumatic past.With the behavioral conceptualization of rape-related responses as conditioned reactions to a traumatic event, several cognitive/ behavioral treatment programs . The trauma of victimization is a direct reaction to the aftermath of crime.

Crime victims suffer a tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma. Victims may experience what is referred to as the "fight or flight" syndrome. The "fight or flight" syndrome is a basic automatic physiological response that individuals have no control.

Victims of non-violent crimes -- such as theft -- may experience less of a personal violation than victims of violent crimes, however, that is not always the case. Homicide is the ultimate violation for a crime victim, and leaves behind the victim's survivors to experience the personal violation.

Sexual assault in the United States armed forces is an ongoing problem which has received extensive media coverage in the past several years.

At least 32% of U.S. military women report having been sexually assaulted, and up to 80% have been sexually harassed. [1]. Nov 09,  · Rape survivors who speak out about their assault experiences are often punished for doing so when they are subjected to negative reactions from support providers.

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Rape victims failed to report incident due to traumatic experience

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