Rape is such a traumatic event for anyone’s spiritual, physical and emotional well-being. Recovery can help a person heal and move on with their life. To help understand what someone should do after being rape and how someone can recover from rape, I have interviewed psychologist Kathy Martone Ed.D.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a licensed Jungian psychologist and have been in private practice since 1985. I specialize in dream work, women’s spirituality, work with incest and sexual abuse survivors, inner child work, shamanic journeys, marriage/relationship counseling. I also conduct several annual dream/spirituality retreats for women.”
“I have been in analysis/post doctoral training with Richmond K. Greene, past chair of the New York Jungian Institute, for over 20 years. I published a book entitled “Sacred Wounds” in 2006. Inspired by a dream, I began making velvet tapestries of my own dream images embellished with rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, feathers, glass beads, pieces of jewelry.”
What should someone do after they have been raped?
“Get help immediately!! Do not wash or shower but instead, call the police (or rape assistance telephone line) and make sure that there is a mental health professional present during the official interview and during the medical exam. Enroll in a support group and/or in individual therapy. Talking about the experience as soon as possible after the assault will speed up the healing process and help the victim begin to feel safe again and regain her sense of power.”
What type of impact can rape have on a person’s overall life?
“Victims of rape should know that this experience does not have to ruin their lives. But it will take time to recover. Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder are likely, such as reliving the assault, nightmares and insomnia, startle reactions, hypervigilance, and feelings of fear and anxiety, persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, to name just a few.”
How can someone recover from rape?
“Talking about the assault is absolutely essential – and doing so over and over again until a sense of safety and empowerment is re-established. Usually recovery requires the help of a mental health professional and often, support groups are necessary. Help and emotional support from family and friends is crucial.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who has been raped?
“In larger cities, there are rape hotlines that people can call. People who have been especially trained to deal with sex crimes man these phone lines. Most mental health professionals are qualified to help victims of sex crimes. There are often community support groups available and community mental health centers offer assistance. Even emergency rooms at local hospitals can be of help.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone who has been raped?
“Remember that rape is not a crime of passion. It is ALWAYS A CRIME OF POWER AND AGGRESSION. So rape has absolutely nothing to do with how a woman is dressed nor does it have anything to do with her behavior. And the best revenge is to get professional help and get better, regain your power. Rape is not a death sentence but it is a horrific act that takes time and support, along with professional help, to recover from.”
Thank you Kathy for doing the interview on recovering from rape. For more information on Kathy Martone or her work you can check out her website on www.dreamagik.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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