Facts and Theories about
The goal of this work is to understand the psychospiritual effects of acquaintance rape on survivors so that religious professionals can learn to be more pastorally helpful. To understand a survivors experience, we need to take into account the larger sociohistorical and relational context of acquaintance rape. What is acquaintance rape? What are the sociocultural issues that set the context forlsurvivors' responses? And how do survivors respond? It is with these questions in mind that I present facts and theories about acquaintance rape.
This chapter includes two related parts. It opens with a discussion of facts and distortions about acquaintance rape. Both the psychosocial literature and the pastoral theological literature on acquaintance rape use the practice of naming common distortions as a way of addressing the statistical facts and misperceptions about acquaintance rape. We need to know both the facts and the myths about acquaintance rape because they influence how a survivor comes to terms with the violence and works toward healing. In the second half of tlie chapter, I present three theories of trauma. The first is a sociohistorical theory on the connection between racism and acquaintance rape. I then move to a discussion of two psychological trauma theories: rape trauma syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This chapter sets one of the theoretical contexts for understanding acquaintance rape. In chapter four, I will explore a pastoral theological construct of acquaintance rape.