Community services for rape survivors: enhancing psychological well-being or increasing trauma?

This research examined how contact with the legal, medical, and mental health systems affects rape survivors' psychological well-being. Although community services may be beneficial for some victims, there is increasing evidence that they can add trauma, rather than alleviate distress (termed secondary victimization). This study examined how secondary victimization affects rape survivors' posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. Adaptive and snowball sampling were used to recruit a sample of 102 rape survivors.

Preventing the second rape: Rape survivors' experiences with community service providers

Although prevention efforts aimed at eliminating the occurrence of sexual assault are clearly needed, it is also important to consider how we can prevent further trauma among those already victimized. Prior research suggests that rape survivors may experience victim-blaming treatment from system personnel (termed secondary victimization or the second rape). This research examined how postassault contact with community systems exacerbated rape victims' psychological and physical heath distress.

Understanding rape and sexual assault: 20 years of progress and future directions

During the past 20 years, researchers have documented the widespread problem of rape in American society. Approximately one in four women are raped in their adult lifetime, which causes severe psychological distress and long-term physical health problems. The impact of sexual assault extends far beyond rape survivors as their family, friends, and significant others are also negatively affected. Moreover, those who help rape victims, such as rape victim advocates, therapists, as well as sexual assault researchers, can experience vicarious trauma.

The sexual assault and secondary victimization of female veterans: Help-seeking expereinces with military and civilian social systems

A sample of predominantly low-income, African American female veterans and reservists seeking health care in a Veterans' Administration medical clinic was screened for a history of sexual assault since age 18. Overall, 39% had been sexually assaulted in adulthood. Those who had been sexually victimized were asked to describe one assault incident in detail: 38% described an assault that occurred during military service and 62% described one that occurred before or after military service.

Male rape myths: the role of gender, violence, and sexism

This study investigates the structure of Struckman-Johnson and Struckman-Johnson's Male Rape Myth Scale, examines gender differences in rape myth acceptance, and explores the underlying ideologies that facilitate male rape myth acceptance. A three-factor model, with rape myths regarding Trauma, Blame, and Denial as separate subscales, is the best fitting solution. However, the results indicate that additional scale development and validity tests are necessary. In exploratory analyses, men are more accepting of male rape myths than are women.

Older victims of sexual assault: an underrecognized population

We performed this study to determine if sexual assault characteristics differ in women presenting for evaluation as women age. STUDY DESIGN: All females 20 years or older presenting after sexual assault to an urban emergency department during a nine year period underwent standardized evaluation. Analysis was performed by chi(2). RESULTS: We evaluated 2399 women: 1743 women 20-39 years, 554 women 40-55 years, and 102 women over 55 years of age.

Preventing vicarious trauma: What counselors should know when working with trauma survivors

Counselors in all settings work with clients who are survivors of trauma. Vicarious trauma, or counselors developing trauma reactions secondary to exposure to clients' traumatic experiences, is not uncommon. The purpose of this article is to describe vicarious trauma and summarize the recent research literature related to this construct. The Constructivist Self-Development Theory (CSDT) is applied to vicarious trauma, and the implications CSDT has for counselors in preventing and managing vicarious trauma are explored.

Understanding alcohol-related sexual assaults: characteristics and consequences

Sexual assaults commonly involve alcohol use, but little is known about alcohol's effects on many aspects of assaults and their aftermath. We investigated characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and assaults as a function of whether alcohol was involved in the assault, as well as differences in women's postassault experiences. Assaults prior to which only perpetrators were drinking differed not only from non-alcohol-related assaults, but also from those prior to which both perpetrators and victims were drinking.


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