Rape and Its Psychological Effects on the Girl-Child

Rape and Its Psychological Effects on the Girl-Child

Sexual violence is a common phenomenon which occurs worldwide. Data available suggests that in some countries, one in five women report sexual violence by an intimate partner and up to a third of girls report forced sexual initiation.

The most common and lasting effects of rape involve mental health concerns and diminished social confidence.

Victims experience both short and long term psychological effects of rape.

One of the most common psychological consequences of rape is self-blame.

Victims use self-blame as an avoidance-based coping tool.

Self-blame slows or in many cases, stops the healing process. Wallowing in self-pity never solves it.

Other emotional and psychological effects of rape include:

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): one of the most common psychological ailments that occur after a rape is PTSD. When something traumatic like a rape occurs, many victims will replay the scenario over and over in their minds and relive it on a regular basis. As a result, they may experience severe anxiety, hyper-arousal and difficulty sleeping.
  • Depression: rape victims often experience sadness and hopelessness for a long time after the incident. This can affect every area of the victim’s life and make it difficult for her to eat, sleep, go to work or school and engage with friends and family. This can make recovery even more difficult.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: this is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by unstable relationships with other people, unstable sense of self and unstable emotions. There is frequent dangerous behavior and self-harm.
  • Sleeping Disorder: this has to do with changes in sleeping pattern or habits that can negatively affect health. Seven of ten rape victims have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep.
  • Eating Disorder: this is characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being.
  • Distrust of others: here, the fellow is uneasy in everyday social situation.
  • Anger
  • Feelings of personal powerlessness: victims feel the rapist robbed them of control over their bodies.
  • Guilt
  • Substance abuse/self-harm
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Should we wait for rape to happen in order to teach coping skills and take long hours of therapy? Is the girl-child the cause of rape?

It’s a unanimous NO in my thought.

Good enough, parents & potential parents are reading this. Permit me to give you this seemingly disrespectful assignment for the boy-child.

The ‘ambiguity’ or vast demands of parenting has jilted many.

The origin of sexual misconduct can be traced to childhood through the reoccurring nocturnal emissions (wet dream), the aunt still walking around half-dressed or the mom changing up in front of the boy because they think, “he is still a child and knows nothing”. The girls are given sexual orientation though sometimes faulty but the boy is left to his imagination and the interpretations he will get from his peer group.

Parents, you need to talk to your boys. Just so you know, there is always one boy in every group that is far ahead of others either with ideas or actual acts.

They start to intentionally run into girls, even go as far as ‘mistakenly’ touching their breasts and apologizing. This is a critical time in the life of boys. This is where a good number of rapists and molesters are inducted.

At this point, every girl is a potential victim; from sister to neighbor. Nobody is safe.

Parents have not been singled out for abating rape or unconsciously grooming molesters but if we get it right at home, other triggers account for a negligible percentage which means the occurrence will be significantly reduced.

Dear parents, talk to your boys!!!

We can reduce the occurrence of rape if we all make effort. Let’s join hands and make our society safe for the girl-child.