Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rape Trauma Syndrome: Reading Blogs and Newspaper Articles about Your Case

© (2006) By Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC
When someone is a survivor of sexual violence (incest, sexual abuse, sexual assault, professional sexual misconduct, clergy sexual abuse) there are certain types of behaviors (symptomology) that they may display, especially when they are under a great deal of pressure. The behaviors are extremely common for someone who is experiencing rape trauma syndrome (which is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
One of the things that helps most survivors is when PTSD symptoms pop out, to take a step back, and regroup. If you don't do this, then you remain in the "victim" role, and healing can NEVER take place.
It's vitally important for a survivor involved in a court case to take as many breaks as possible from following what's happening in the news and or on blogs.  Remaining cool, calm and collected will help your court case.
Reading articles about a case your involved with, and also reading blog entries can trigger "anyone" to say things and behave in ways that would not normally occur. Please, if you or someone you know is a survivor of a sex crime and involved in a court case, please help them by keeping them off of blogs that debate their case, and also DO NOT baiting them into discussions.
I want to urge survivors of all cases NOT to read these types of blogs. If a survivor feels they need to, it should only be done when they are with their rape counselor and or a trusted friend.

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