The Rape Victim: A Project of the Committee on Women of the American Psychiatric Association ...

By Elaine Hilberman | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE
TOWARD THE FUTURE
The eradication of rape is contingent on educating and sensitizing our society to the meaning of the crime and the context in which it occurs. Innovative and empathetic services to victims will serve as a deterrent to the crime by facilitating reportage and thereby apprehension and prosecution of the assailants. Ultimately, however, the elimination of rape will require a massive reconsideration and restructuring of social values as well as a reorientation of the relations between the sexes. It is the thesis of this author that when the sex roles of both men and women are defined by individual needs and talents rather than by stereotypic expectations based on sex and power motives, only then will there be an end to rape.In the meantime, there is much unknown and undone regarding the rape victim. What follows is a summary of the research questions which demand our attention:
1. What are the immediate and chronic effects of rape in the context of the victim's place in the life cycle, and what are the treatment implications?
2. What is the long-term impact of rape with regard to developmental aspects of sexual and aggressive drives?
3. What is the frequency of a prior rape among women who are currently psychiatric patients? Numerical and descriptive data may serve in part to clarify the first and second questions.
4. Can we identify and describe a sample of victims who do not come to public attention? All available information about victims is necessarily gleaned from a sample population which reports to either hospital or law enforcement. A survey of private physicians may provide information about a silent subgroup which may differ from the group who reports.
5. What is the impact of rape by a stranger as compared with rape by an assailant known to the victim?

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