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Rape-Trauma Syndrome

Rape-Trauma Syndrome

Definition

A cluster of psychological and physical symptoms and responses that were initially described in 1974 to outline general stages through which rape victims progress to process and heal from sexual trauma. Some courts admit expert testimony about rape-trauma syndrome. However, at least one court has distinguished inadmissible evidence of rape-trauma syndrome from admissible contemporary evidence about rape myths and victims’ common reactions to rape by reasoning that the rape-trauma-syndrome framework of typical rape-victim responses is outdated.

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