Post-Traumatic Stress Rape Case Study

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Together, we can help

A 2006 study found that when victims receive advocate assisted services following assaults, like the 24-hour crisis response RVA provides to 14 hospitals across Chicago, they receive more helpful information, referrals, and services and experience less secondary trauma or re-victimization by medical and legal systems (Campbell, 2006). Furthermore, the same study found that when advocates are present in the legal and medical proceedings following rape, victims fare better in both the short-and long-term, experiencing less psychological distress, physical health struggles, sexual risk-taking behaviors, self-blame, guilt, and depression. Rape survivors with advocates were 59% more likely to have police reports taken than survivors without advocates, whose reports were only taken 41% of the time.

Your support, too, makes a difference.  How you respond to a victim/survivor can positively impact their healing process.  In studies of sexual assault survivors, receiving social support has been associated with many positive outcomes, including positive life change and growth as well as reduced PTSD and depressive symptoms (Borja, Callahan, & Long, 2006; Filipas & Ullman, 2001; Schumm, Briggs-Phillips, & Hobfoll, 2006). Some of these studies found that the greater the amount of support survivors reported receiving, the fewer PTSD symptoms they had.


*Taken from Impact of Sexual Violence Fact Sheet, 2010, National Sexual Violence Resource Center

**Adapted from Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action, 2014, White House Council on Women and Girls Report, and Economic Costs of Sexual Assault, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault


Borja SE, Callahan JL, Long PJ. Positive and negative adjustment and social support of sexual assault survivors. J Trauma Stress. 2006 Dec; 19(6):905-14.

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Filipas, HH, Ullman SE. Social reactions to sexual assault victims from various support sources. Violence Vict. 2001 Dec; 16(6):673-92

MacMillan, R. (2000). Adolescent victimization and income deficits in adulthood: Rethinking the costs of criminal violence from a life-course perspective. Criminology, 38, 553-577.

Miller, T.R., Cohen, M.A., & Wiersema, B. (1996). Victim costs and consequences: A new look. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice

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Schumm, JA, Briggs-Phillips M, Hobfoll SE. Cumulative interpersonal traumas and social support as risk and resiliency factors in predicting PTSD and depression among inner-city women. J Trauma Stress. 2006 Dec; 19(6):825-36.


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