Counseling Rape Victims

  • Sharon L. McCombie
  • Judith H. Arons


Rape victims have undergone an experience of extreme stress that is often sudden, unexpected, and felt to be life-threatening. Our working assumption is that rape arouses massive anxiety that produces a rupture of intrapsychic homeostasis. This in turn precipitates a painful and dysfunctional state of crisis (Golan, 1969, 1978). There are widely observed time-limited and phase-specific emotional and behavioral reactions described as the rape trauma syndrome (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974a,b; Sutherland & Scherl, 1970). Indeed, the rape trauma syndrome is consistent with other gross stress syndromes and crisis reactions reported in the literature (Horowitz, 1976; Lindemann, 1944; Smith, 1978; Titchener & Kapp, 1976).


Crisis Intervention Rape Victim Clinical Instructor Counseling Process District Attorney 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aguilera, D., & Messick, J. Crisis intervention theory and methodology. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Company, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. Brownmiller, S. Against our will: Men, women and rape. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.Google Scholar
  3. Burgess, A. W., & Holmstrom, L. L. Rape trauma syndrome. American Journal of Psychiatry, September 1974, 131, 981–986. (a)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Burgess, A. W., & Holmstrom, L. L. Rape: Victims of crisis. Bowie, Md.: Robert J. Brady Company, 1974. (b)Google Scholar
  5. Golan, N. When is a client in crisis? Social Casework, July 1969, 50(7), 389–394.Google Scholar
  6. Golan, N. Treatment in crisis situations. New York: The Free Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  7. Haley, S. When the patient reports atrocities. Archives of General Psychiatry, February 1974, 30 ,191–196.Google Scholar
  8. Horowitz, M. Stress response syndromes. New York: Jason Aronson Inc., 1976.Google Scholar
  9. Lindemann, E. Symptomatology and management of acute grief. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1944, 101, 141–148.Google Scholar
  10. McCombie, S. Characteristics of rape victims seen in crisis intervention. Smith College Studies in Social Work, March 1976, 46, 137–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Smith, L. A review of crisis intervention theory. Social Casework, July 1978, 396–405.Google Scholar
  12. Sutherland, S., & Scherl, D. Patterns of response among victims of rape. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, April 1970, 40(3), 503–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Titchener, J., & Kapp, F. Family and character change at Buffalo Creek. American Journal of Psychiatry, March 1976, 133(3), 764–769.Google Scholar
  14. Wolberg, L. R. (Ed.). Short-term psychotherapy. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1965.Google Scholar
  15. Zonderman, S. A study of volunteer rape crisis counselors. Master’s thesis, Smith College School of Social Work, 1975.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon L. McCombie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Judith H. Arons
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Rape Crisis Intervention ProgramBeth Israel HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Clinical InstructorSimmons College School of Social WorkBostonUSA
  3. 3.Obstetrics and Gynecology Service, Ambulatory Care UnitBeth Israel HospitalBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations