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Rape Trauma Syndrome

Rape trauma syndrome (RTS), a type of psychological trauma experienced by a rape victim, consists of disruptions to the individual's normal physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal lifestyle. Most rape victims are female, and the vast majority of victims describe psychological symptoms not present before the rape. This entry reviews the history of RTS, its relationship to posttraumatic stress disorder, and complexities confronting specific groups of rape victims.

Impact of Rape Victimization

In one of the first studies of the effects of rape, conducted in 1972 to 1973, Ann Wolbert Burgess and Lynda Lytle Holmstrom interviewed victims brought into an emergency room in a large urban hospital with a complaint of rape. Three types of sexual trauma were observed, and RTS was conceptualized using data from the ...

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