Effects Of Rape

In the aftermath of a rape, victims can face immensely difficult and painful emotions and experiences. Every victim responds to traumatic events in their own way. The effects of the trauma can be for a short while or can last long after the rape.

We all know that rape is a traumatic experience that affects the victim in a physical, psychological, and sociological way. Even though the effects and aftermath of rape differentiate among victims, they are tend to suffer from similar issues found within these three categories. Long term reactions may involve the development of coping mechanisms that will either benefit the victim, such as social support, or inhibit their recovery. Seeking support and professional resources may assist the victim in numerous ways.

Physical Effects:-

  • Gynecological Effects  experienced by the victims include; Vaginal or anal bleeding or infection, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, vaginitis or vaginal inflammation, dyspareunia – painful sexual intercourse, vaginismus – a condition affecting a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, chronic pelvic pain, Urinary tract infections, pregnancy, HIV/AIDS.
  • Pregnancy is a potential result of rape. Rape can cause difficulties during and after pregnancy, with potential negative consequences for both the victim and a resulting child. Medical treatment following a rape includes testing for, preventing, and managing pregnancy. A woman who becomes pregnant after a rape may face a decision about whether to raise the child or to make an adoption plan or abort the child.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs) can affect both the victim and the rapist. While penetrative rape generally does not involve the use of a condom, in some cases a condom is used. The use of a condom significantly reduces the likelihood of pregnancy and disease transmission, both to the victim and the rapist. Rationales for condom use include: avoiding contracting infections or diseases (particularly HIV), especially in cases of rape of sex workers or in gang rape.

Psychological Effects:-

  • In the immediate effects the victim of rape may often have anxiety and fear directly following their attack.  According to a study on the reactions after rape, 96 percent of women said they were scared, shaking, or trembling a few hours after their attack. After more time is passed, the previous symptoms decreased while the levels of depression, exhaustion, and restlessness increased.
  • After an attack, rape survivors experience heightened anxiety and fear. According to Dean G. Kilpatrick, a distinguished psychologist, survivors of rape have high levels of anxiety and phobia-related anxiety. This includes and is not limited to the following; Feelings of dread, feeling nervous, feeling tense or uneasy, having panic attacks, having an irrational response to certain stimuli.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an effect which is very common among rape victims. The National Victim Center and the Crime Victim’s Research and Treatment Center released a report that found 31% of women who were raped develop PTSD at some point in their lives following their attack
  • Self-blame is among the most common of both short- and long-term effects .There are two main types of self-blame: behavioral self-blame (undeserved blame based on actions) and characterological self-blame (undeserved blame based on character). Survivors who experience behavioral self-blame feel that they should have done something differently, and therefore feel at fault. Survivors who experience characterological self-blame feel there is something inherently wrong with them which has caused them to deserve to be assaulted.
  • Suicide or the attempt of suicide is a common effect among rape victims. Survivors of rape are more likely to attempt or commit suicide. This effect remains, even after controlling for sex, age, education, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and the presence of psychiatric disorders.

Sociological Effects:-

  • Rape is a stigmatizing in cultures with strong customs and taboos regarding sex and sexuality. For example, a rape victim (especially one who was previously a virgin) may be viewed by society as being “impure.” Victims in these cultures may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be prohibited from marrying, be divorced if already married, or even killed. This phenomenon is known as secondary victimization. While society targets secondary victimization mainly towards women, male victims can also feel shameful, or experience a loss of purity.
  • The term victim blaming refers to holding the victim of a crime to be responsible for that crime, either in whole or in part. In the context of rape, it refers to the attitude that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may have encouraged the assault. This can cause the victim to believe the crime was indeed their fault. Rapists are known to use victim blaming as their primary psychological disconnect from their crime and in some cases it has led to their conviction.]Female rape victims receive more blame when they exhibit behavior which breaks the gender roles of society.

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