How to help rape victims
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Please listen to this
(from the Freedom Center).
At this stage victims
may do or say things which aren't logical. While it's important to make
a victim feel that they have regained control over their life and decisions,
victims often have great difficulty functioning after an assault.
The links below will help you begin to understand and help your loved ones. If you are reporting a rape you should ask the local crisis center for a victim's advocate who will walk you through the process. For information on Reporting a rape click here.
Most rape survivors need to speak with a crisis counselor. You can find one at 1 800-656-HOPE in the US. Rape crisis centers often offer free in-person counseling as well as phone support. Survivors should also seek therapy from a specialist in rape trauma syndrome (also look into EMDR).
The best ways to reduce feelings of shame are:
"Two main styles of emotion
were shown by the victims within the first few hours after the rape: expressed
and controlled. In the expressed style. the victim demonstrated such feelings
as anger, fear and anxiety. They were restless during the interview, becoming
tense when certain questions were asked, crying or sobbing when describing
specific acts of the assailant, smiling in an anxious manner when certain
issues were stated. In the controlled style, the feelings of the victim
were masked or hidden, and a calm, composed or subdued affect could be
What can you expect after a person
has been raped?
How to help rape victims and the
stages of trauma.
RAINN how to help rape victims. How can I help a friend who has been sexually assaulted?
What not to say to a rape victim.
The goal of this pamphlet is to provide information about how to help someone who has been sexually assaulted or raped. Survivors look to those closest to them for support, encouragement, and advice.
The best thing you can do for a friend who tells you that they are being sexually abused is to listen.
"When someone has been raped or sexually assaulted, they obviously need a great deal of support from the people around them"
" There is no one way to identify if someone has been sexually assaulted unless she or he or someone close to them tells you that this has occurred. However, there are several signs/symptoms of rape trauma (a type of post-traumatic stress) which may help you to identify if a friend needs help."
End Abuse Campaigns: Reaching
for endabuse adds to train boys not to abuse women.
Program on rape education on middle and high schools
"But often, simple human contact is the most important thing for a shamed person. Even this can be difficult to offer because shame makes people withdraw.
"The most important thing is to keep up contact with someone -- for example, the kid who drops out of college and is now a strung-out marijuana addict," Tangney says. "Marginalized people -- and nobody is more marginalized than the mentally ill -- need to have a place in society. That is a very powerful message that should be attended to by communities, whether they are religious or family or neighborhood communities."
Approaching a shamed person can be tricky, Josephs warns.
"If you see shame preventing someone from getting health care, you can confront it as irrational," he says. "You can say there is nothing to be ashamed of, and if people hear it, they hear it. But when you point out that they are ashamed, people can get touchy and angry. If you point out their shame, you could get into a fight. So bring it up, but in a tactful way, knowing this is a tough issue."
Tangney says that the best approach is to avoid further shaming. The first thing to offer is support and empathy. Rather than confront a person's shame, it's better to point out -- very, very gently -- how a person's behavior is harming areas of life that the person really values.
"There is a lot of evidence suggesting this is a good approach," Tangney says. "And to my ears it is all about shame reduction."
Related pages within this site:
Distribute Training Manuals to professionals
Find out about rape trauma syndrome
Ways to reduce stigma and shame
Find Journal Articles on this subject
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Rape Crisis Information Pathfinder, UNC Chapel Hill, N.C., http://www.ibiblio.org/rcip/