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NCJ Number: 166970 Find in a Library
Title: Counseling Women Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted (From Clinical Approaches to Working With Mentally Disordered and Sexual Offenders, P 46-53, 1990, Kevin Howells and Clive Hollin, eds. -- See NCJ-166964)
Author(s): D Robertson
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: British Psychological Soc
Leicester, LE1 7DR, England
Sale Source: British Psychological Soc
St Andrews House
48 Princess Road East
Leicester, LE1 7DR,
United Kingdom
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Based primarily on the author's experience in counseling women who have been sexually assaulted, this essay reviews the dynamics of women's experience of sexual assault and how counselors can respond to these women in a caring, useful way.
Abstract: The issues of control and allowing the woman to regain a sense of self-determination over her life are central to counseling survivors of sexual terrorism. Part of counseling is to help the women understand that they did not stimulate and precipitate the attack. This involves dispelling commonly held rape myths. Along with guilt feelings, women often experience isolation; sometimes this isolation is self-imposed, because they can not trust others sufficiently to make a disclosure of their ordeal. How well a woman recovers from a sexual attack is strongly influenced by her emotional resources prior to the assault and by the quality of support she receives from other people, legal and medical personnel included. Overall, women who have been sexually abused need to be believed, to be given "unconditional positive regard," to learn of the benefits of a rape crisis center, to be reassured that what they are feeling is normal, and to be reassured that it is possible to recover from the effects of sexual abuse. Further, they should be promised a confidential hearing in a safe environment, be encouraged to take control of their lives again, to be helped to work on problems through support that is informed and nonjudgmental, and to be helped to stop taking responsibility for the attack. They should also be sensitively informed about reporting the attack to the police, about pregnancy, and about sexually transmitted diseases. 4 references
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Counseling techniques; Psychological victimization effects; Victim services
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