The Nature and Consequences of Rape on the Victims Part 3

Fourteen consequences of rape on the victims were identified and explained in the Part 2 of this write up. Now we are faced with how to address cases of rape and the impacts on the victims. This is what will be focus of this section of the write up.:
Post rape remedies and treatments.
1. Discuss it immediately. There is temptation to conceal information on rape by the rape victims most probably because of stigmatization. This is a disservice to oneself. The greatest way to address this is to summon courage to talk about it to your couple and other relevant family members. Doing this gives some measure of relief. It also enables the victims’ partners to know about the new reality they have to contend with and how to go ahead and manage the situation at hand. The initial reaction may not be too palatable. Of course it won’t be palatable. But the earlier they get to know and accept the reality the better for the family. The most painful and disruptive of it will be for your spouse to get to know about this much later when so much harm would have been done. It will be worse for the spouse to hear this from a third party.

2. Involvement of the law enforcement agents. Report the case of rape to the relevant law enforcement agencies, especially the police or human rights groups. This is very important for timely intervention by the agencies in the apprehensions of the criminals and further investigations that will help in the subsequent prosecution of the predators. This is because the longer the delay the more complicated the case becomes and vice versa. Physical evidence of the case can be destroyed with time and the predator can be left to go off the hook for want of evidence. Apart from this such timely intervention can help to safeguard the life of the victim whose life may be at risk in the absence of law enforcement agencies like the police.

3. Medical tests and treatments. Arrangements should be made to ensure necessary medical tests are carried out on the victims to gather facts and evidence that will help in further investigation. Apart from this, such tests are needed to determine the extent of damage/injuries done to the victims. Such tests are also important to ascertain if the victims have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). All these will suggest the kind of treatments to be administered on the victims. The results of the test will go a long way to help the police in their investigations and prosecution of the alleged rapists.

4. Psychiatric treatment or psychosocial therapy. This is necessary in managing post rape traumatic experience that may serve as source of distraction in the lives of the rape victims. The trauma and weird experience that go with rape could be very horrible and devastating. This may linger on for months and in some cases it could be for years. Each time the experience flashes across the mind of the victim it is like the experience is repeated and the reaction to it assumes a new dimension. Sometimes the victims are withdrawn to themselves as they distance themselves from the people around them. There are cases of victims who literally go mad as a result of their rape encounter. This obviously requires adequate psychosocial treatments to make sure that things do not go out of hand.

5. Re-integration into the society to minimize or remove impact of stigmatization. The post rape rehabilitation should also involve social and communal integration of the victims. This is necessary to prevent the feeling of being isolated by the victims. This starts with non-discriminatory attitude towards the victims by their respective community members, especially their family members. Family members should constitute effective social support group to their members. This has a way of accelerating the healing process of the victims. Joining social groups/clubs that provide support services to rape victims is also an important step in this regard. Religious organisations and groups are required to be in the fore front of renewed agitation for effective re-integration of rape victims into their families, marriages, churches, mosques, places of work, and other social institutions.

6. Confidentiality. Post rape handling of the rape victims should be done with utmost respect for their privacy. All the cases relating to rape should be handled with high degree of professionalism by all the professionals involved like the police officers, especially the investigative police officers (IPOs), lawyers, judges, journalists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and others. Where necessary names and true identity of the victims should not be dropped any how in the public domain except where there is a various reason to do otherwise.

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