Post Traumatic Stress in Rape Victims

May 23, 2017
By mattbk1313 BRONZE, Randolph, New Jersey
mattbk1313 BRONZE, Randolph, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Rape of children and adults is very common nowadays in the real world. It’s an ongoing problem that is plaguing society today.Though at times people do not think of it as a big problem, it is rapidly growing. Until people begin to do something about it, it will continue to grow as a problem, and cause many problems in society, especially in the United States. The symptoms a victim many have are often very serious. Whether it’s just nightmares, or thoughts of suicide, they can all ruin or harshly affect a person’s life. In the novel “Speak,” by Laurie Halse Anderson, and modern sources, the authors explore the traumatic events a victim experiences after rape.

In the novel, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Post Traumatic Stress in Rape Survivors, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, are constantly shown in both. Post Traumatic Stress, is often seen in many victims of rape or sexual violence. It can cause problems to a victim, both mentally and physically. The author Laurie Halse Anderson shows these problems, in the novel Speak. In the text, it Melinda’s laziness and lack of feel, when it states,“When I realize how late it is, I decide not to rush. Why bother? Mom: “‘You missed the bus again”’ I nod. Mom: “‘You expect me to drive you again.”’ Another nod” (Anderson 96). In this quote, Melinda, the victim of rape, shows symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She shows she has lack of emotion and doesn’t have any sense of urgency. Instead of talking, in the text, she nods twice instead of speaking, showing the lack of emotion. She begins to flunk in school because of the little emotion she shows, in school, and about school. This also starts to lead to a relationship with her mother, where she can barely talk to her, because does not show very much emotion about anything. Also, in a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder article, by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the text proves that victims may experience lack of emotion or lack of love. In the text, it states, “[A victim may experience] A lack of emotion or inability to feel love or care about anything” (Post Traumatic). Melinda in Speak often experiences “a lack of emotion and inability to love,” and it all relates back to the time she was first raped. It causes her to get bad grades in school, lose relationships with many of her friends, and relationships with her family. The only genuine relationship she makes, is with her art teacher. Melinda and other victims in the real world often experience symptoms of PTSD, and they can dramatically impact a victim forever.

Psychopathology causes rape victims to experience PTSD symptoms. These symptoms are often extremely harmful, and can drastically change a person’s life. Psychopathology is the study of mental disorders. In the novel Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Psychopathology After Rape, the authors explore how it can change a victim's life. After a victim is raped or sexally abused, they experience a series of mentally symptoms. In the article Psychopathology after rape, the authors, Carlo Faravelli, Alice Giugni, Ricca Valdo, and Stefano Salvatori, show some of the disorders, one may face after rape. In the article, it states, “Most of the raped women show a more significant impairment in the areas of painful reexperience of the traumatic events, sexual disorders, and eating disorders” (Valdo, Salvatori,Giuni, and Faravelli 1485). Melinda goes through similar disorders after being raped. She, like many of the women, who have been raped, experienced a painful recurrence of the first event. In the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, she shows the painful recurrence, when it states, “He wants a free hand, I remember I remember. Metal hands, hot knife hands. No. A sound explodes from me. “‘ NNNOOO!!!”’ (Anderson 194). Melinda reexperiences her rape a second time, by the same person. She remembers it all from the first time and fights to get away. She again experiences the rape for a second time, and shows the PTSD symptom, when she yells no. The reexperience, causes Melinda to feel even more uncomfortable and attacked than she already is being raped, because it is happening for the second time.  In both Speak, and this modern source, they show how women and children are affected by rape, and symptoms after rape.

In the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, and an Child Maltreatment, by Benjamin. E Saunders, Dean G. Kilpatrick, Rochelle F. Hanson, Heidi S. Resnick, and Michael E. Walker,   the authors show the problems that come from child rape. The author of Speak describes a scene of Melinda being raped at school. Many of the rapes that occur in the world today are often not detected or reported. In the article, Child Maltreatment, by Benjamin. E Saunders, Dean G. Kilpatrick, Rochelle F. Hanson, Heidi S. Resnick, and Michael E. Walker, the text shows statistics about child rape, “Despite the serious nature of many assaults, only 11.9% of the child rape cases were reported to authorities such as law enforcement or Child Protective Services” (Saunders, Walker, Henson, and Kilpatrick 193). Children who are raped often do not report their incident to anyone, It may be because they are afraid to tell, or are shocked, and do not know what to do. In Speak, Melinda also does not report her incident the first time. She does not tell anyone what happened, because at first she is shunned by her friends, and feels that telling them will only make it worse. In the novel, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, it shows a scene where Melinda is being raped, “He curses and turns his fist coming, coming. An explosion in my head and blood in my mouth. He hit me, I scream, scream” (Anderson 194). In this quote, it shows that Melinda tried to scream for help, but she could not be heard. Eventually someone came to help her but the damage was done. This shows how sometimes victims try to tell people, but it doesn’t work or they are not able to tell anyone. Maybe, if she had told people earlier about the rape, it could have prevented the second rape from ever happening. Childhood rape is a serious issue. Children often will not, or cannot report the incident, leaving children with a burden to face their whole lives.

In the novel, “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson, and modern sources, the authors explore rape, and how it can traumatize a victim permanently. Whether it’s childhood rape, or adulthood rape, it occurs way too much in society today. It ruins the victim's life and can devastate families just as much. Rape victims, often experience devastating symptoms after rape. These may include eating disorders, fear of the events or even nightmares.These symptoms require professional help, for the victim, to make the symptoms the least severe they can be. All symptoms are serious, some more serious than others, but they can all cause a victim terrible    problems the rest of their lives.  Rape is currently rapidly growing as a worldwide epidemic, and  will continue to grow as a worldwide problem, and keep occurring, until people do something to try and put an end to it.

Works Cited
Faravelli Carlo, Giugni Alice, Valdo Ricca, Salvatori Stefano. “Psychopathology After Rape” The American Journal of Psychiatry. Version 8, Volume 161. American Psychiatric Association. August 01, 2004. February 13, 2017.
Hanson Rochelle, Heidi Resnick, Kilpatrick Dean, Saunders Benjamin, Walker Michael. “Child Maltreatment” Version 3, Volume 4. SAGE Publications. February 13, 2017.
“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Rape Survivors” The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. February 13, 2017.


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