Counseling the Rape Victim

The rape victim's loss is profound. She has not lost another loved one, she has lost her own loved one, herself.
—Danny Armstrong

She will come to your office like most others do, by appointment. The rape took place quite some time ago, perhaps months, perhaps years. Only now has she worked up enough courage to talk about it. At first she will probably not mention the rape itself, but some of her resultant problems: a feeling of despair, inability to trust people, fear, and others. If you really listen and feed back her feelings accurately, chances are she will proceed past these presenting problems to the one she really came to talk about—her rape. Your first obligation, then, is to listen. Without this crucial step, she may never reveal her true problem.

If she accepts the risk and reveals that she has been raped, you should know seven feelings common to rape victims. There are others, but these seem to be recurrent.

What They Feel

Number one is anger. Rape victims are some of the most intensely ...

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