A Crisis Theory Perspective on Rape
With the growth of the feminist movement, increasing attention and concern has been focused on the prevalence of the crime of rape and on the nature of the psychological responses of the victim. Rape is no longer viewed as a crime of passion with the victim viewed as complicit but is now seen as a crime of violence inevitably causing an emotional crisis in the life of the assaulted individual. As in other crisis states, such as those precipitated by the death of a loved one or a severe accident or illness, the rape crisis produces a complex set of emotions and symptoms that unfold in a predictable sequence within a specified period of time. Issues unique to the crisis must be resolved and integrated, or the victim will have difficulty returning to her previous level of functioning. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a crisis theory perspective for understanding the spectrum of feelings manifested by the rape victim over the months following the assault. The theme developed is that the crisis response to rape evolves in a predictable sequence similar to other crises, but with a special content specific to rape, which I call the rape work.
KeywordsRape Victim Psychiatric Emergency Service Crisis Response Predictable Sequence Beth Israel Hospital
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