The Trauma of Sexual Assault: Treatment, Prevention, and Practice

The Trauma of Sexual Assault: Treatment, Prevention, and Practice

The Trauma of Sexual Assault: Treatment, Prevention, and Practice

The Trauma of Sexual Assault: Treatment, Prevention, and Practice


The psycho-social needs of victims of rape and sexual assault are increasingly recognised and there is a need for a critical synthesis of knowledge and practice to support the development of training and best practice in the mental health and sexual health professions.

The Trauma of Sexual Assault provides an understanding of the theoretical underpinning of the wide range of clinical problems that can follow sexual assault. Focusing on adult victims of sexual assault, this book brings together research findings, theoretical perspectives and implications for treatment, longer term management, and future policy.

• The first text to consider the psychological impact of sexual assault on women and men

• Incorporates a comprehensive flow-through model of psychological and social management from the initial presentation of the assaulted person onwards

• A much needed reference, accessible to a wide range of professionals

Part of the Wiley Series in Clinical Psychology


Why another book about rape and sexual assault? As clinical psychologists working in medical and sexual health settings, we found ourselves seeing both men and women who had experienced rape and sexual assault. While we found many interesting books from the 1970s onwards that addressed rape from the feminist, social, and political perspective, we found few texts that addressed the wide-ranging problems we encountered in the clinical setting.

Our motivation in compiling this text is to draw together current theories, research, and clinical practice relating to the management of sexual assault. This is primarily a book for clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, support workers, therapists, and clinicians working in settings that provide for sexual assault or who are thinking of setting up such services. It will also prove useful to primary care workers and physicians working in a wider field as well as to voluntary sector agencies. Police, legal, and judicial professionals may also find an understanding of the psychological impact of sexual assault useful in improving the management of complainants.

We deliberated over how to refer to the person who has experienced sexual assault. Many texts use the terms 'victim' or 'survivor' and legal texts frequently refer to the 'complainant'. Each of these terms provides a different insight into the experience of the assaulted person. At different times, any of these terms might be appropriate. We, therefore, decided not to impose any specific terminology on the authors. As a consequence, these terms are used interchangeably throughout the book. Many case examples are used in this book. Each is based on fact but each has been significantly altered in order to protect the identity of the person involved. Cases have also been simplified in order to demonstrate salient points.

Chapter 1 begins with an overview of how rape and sexual assault has been defined in legal and clinical settings. It also introduces readers to background information, epidemiology, and a brief resume of the way . . .

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