Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS)

Is a response to the profound fear of death that almost all survivors experience during the rape. It occurs in 2 phases:

Acute (Initial) Phase – usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks after the attack. In this phase survivors usually either show, an expressed style, were they openly display their emotions -any emotion is appropriate because this is their own way of responding. Or a controlled style, most of the survivor’s energy is directed to containing their emotions.

Reorganization Phase – usually lasts from a few weeks to several years after the attack. The survivor starts to reorganize their lives by looking at their personality (what coping strategies they have and are these healthy?), support system (friends and family?), existing life problems (drinking or drug problem? Experiencing a divorce or break-up? Emotional or psychological problems?) and previous sexual assaults (if suffered previous abuse they then have to deal with this as well).

Often the end of the acute phase overlaps with the start of the reorganization phase.

Here is a great website explaining How you will feel – http://www.reachsarc.org.uk/how-am-i-feeling/index.html

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