Rape trauma syndrome (RTS) includes the acute or immediate phase of disorganization following rape; an intermediate and often superficial appearance of adjustment; and a long-term, nonlinear process of reorganization typically including flashbacks and periods of regression. RTS was first identified in two phases by Ann Burgess and Lynda Holmstrom, who found physical and emotional reactions to a life-threatening experience to characterize the acute phase and lifestyle changes, such as moving and job switches, along with sleep disturbances and generalized phobias to characterize the reorganization phase.

Rape Crisis Movement

In the 1970s and 1980s, a rape crisis movement brought RTS to public awareness through education and advocacy aimed at increased reporting and countering public stereotypes and self-recriminations associated with rape. Community centers with trained volunteers helped victims cope ...

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