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Survival and Coping After Rape

The deleterious impact of rape on psychological functioning is well documented in the literature. Women who have survived sexual assault typically report subsequent symptoms of depression and anxiety, and many ultimately meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders symptom criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. In general, research suggests that victims do recover from the traumatic impact of sexual assault, albeit to varying degrees. However, the type of coping mechanism a victim uses to manage her distress will influence the outcome of the recovery process. This entry will offer a definition of coping and delineate between cognitive and behavioral coping strategies. Despite the overall lack of consensus in the literature, the efficacy of these coping strategies will be summarized and additional factors that ...

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