1. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    psychological condition after rape? [clearly adult]

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by chacotaco91, Apr 21, 2011.

    Hi everybody, I need some help on a subject I'm......ugh..... hardly well versed in.

    I have a female character, the story takes place after she's been raped. She was impregnated by said rape. I start describing her character after a couple of weeks have passed (or at least the length of she begins to show a bump, which is like 12 weeks right?).

    -She's only 16 when it happened.
    -She's strong-willed, but scarred from the experience.
    -She's being chased by the rapist, who really wants the child.
    -It wasn't a necessarily brutal rape, though the guy took her forcefully in a war-rape kind of scenario. (if they could ever be considered un-brutal)

    Now, currently she's very emotionally disturbed, and I describe her as so. However, for plots sake she's eventually going to need to get better, and actually start to become kind of an evil, power hungry character.

    -Do you think recovering from something like this is generally going to take a while, or is going to depend on the women?
    -Is the reaction varied depending on the women? Do some react with quiet sadness, or do they try and hurt themselves? Depression and constant crying? Anger towards the Rapist? acceptance of the Rapist?
    -This character is eventually going to be a strong-willed women, so I'm just trying to imagine what the "strong-willed" women of history would react if they were raped in their younger years.

    I'm reading online articles on the subject so far, but I'd like to get feedback on writers on how you would convey a girl who had suffered a rape.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's only one aspect of this I think I am qualified to answer:

    Um . . . I'm gonna go with "yes" on that one.

    Other than that, I'm not sure. Hopefully some others with more of a frame of reference have some insights.
     
  3. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the rape doesn't effect her at all, I think that would be very unrealistic. I only say this because I have read several novels where the author has a character get raped, and a chapter later it might as well have never happened from the character acts.

    I mean, rape is basically an act that takes something from you and you lack the ability to stop it. Whether you are male or female, that has an effect on you.

    Dave Gemmell, I am pointing at you. :mad:
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Speaking as someone who was almost raped (by a man too stupid to realize the German Shepherd right by might be mine...), just that was absolutely horrible, and I was terrified for weeks after that. Had trouble sleeping and eating. And even though it's three years ago, I never go out after dark without my dog. And I don't even live in a big city anymore. From speaking to rape victims, I think it's more the fear of it happening again that gets people in the long run. It's paralyzing, and it's hard trusting people again.

    - Do you think recovering from something like this is generally going to take a while, or is going to depend on the women?
    I would say it depends. I've talked to women I don't think ever will get over it, and I've talked to women who consider themselves stronger after what happened. From the little knowledge I have, it seems to me that the women who struggle the most are often those who suffer the least after. Maybe it's knowing you did all you could, the only guess I have as to why that would be the case. Or perhaps they were just more strong-willed to begin with.
    -Is the reaction varied depending on the women? Do some react with quiet sadness, or do they try and hurt themselves? Depression and constant crying? Anger towards the Rapist? acceptance of the Rapist?
    This is absolutely depending on the woman.
     
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  5. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    From what I know of PTSD, she might keep getting caught in the memories, her flight-or-fight response would keep getting triggered.

    Combine living nightmare with lucid dreaming, and she might develop the way to mentally fight back against him.
     
  6. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    THIS! Thanks

    Anyways, why I'm asking about length of recovery is that I have the memory no longer becoming a debilitating aspect of her life after a year. The birth of the child has a lot to do with it.

    However, this character turns basically bad later on. Would you say being raped have an effect on someone's moral outlook? She basically, from experiencing such a morally wrong thing, decides morals are useless and ultimately non-existent. She seems them as things for the weak and naive. I have a chapter where she has a soldier under her command and he rapes a girl, but my female character really doesn't care about it at all.

    I'm not looking for validation or someone to create my character for me, its just this whole field is a big no-mans-land in terms of my experience writing it. Thanks for everyone's input, its helping me from going at this blind.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    In reality, reactions to this sort of thing varies from person to person, including situations in which there are no outward effects, which is how a friend of mine adapted to a rape. From outward appearances there was almost no 'recovery' time and no change in behavior, etc. Of course, the inner effect is another story I suspect (though she will not admit as much).
     
  8. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I read a really interesting crime fiction book once where the victim of childhood rape from her father grew up to be outwardly very "with it" and because an important attorney or something. However, her mother hinted at something dark in her--a stubbornness and a willfulness that she warned the cop not to cross her. She would often play at relationships, become the aggressor in her relationships, collecting men like trophies.
     
  9. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    Oh, yeah, and she was responsible for killing her parents, who were very prominent, normal-seeming folks.
     
  10. Mister Cheech
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    Mister Cheech Member

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    The best illustration of psychological trauma there is is Rob Zombie's "Halloween II." If you want to know what trauma is like without being raped yourself, watch that movie.
     
  11. Mister Cheech
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    Mister Cheech Member

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    Though I really should say that this is a pretty sensitive subject and if you've had a kind of a dull middle class existence it's irresponsible for you to try to tackle this.
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    HIH Good luck lol
     
  13. Evilyn
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    Evilyn Member

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    I would agree that it depends on the person as everyone has different ways of dealing with things. I think if you want her to become a strong willed woman you could explain that the ordeal although terrifying made her a stronger person.
    The baby issue, the way I see it is this could either work in two ways, the woman would not want the child as it is the seed of the man that raped her and a constant reminder or the child helps her overcome it as she has this new life that is totally dependent on her.
    From what you stated she keeps the child so I would go with the route that as she sees the new life growing inside of her she begins to get stronger.

    Initially you could have her having nightmares, acting jumpy and nervous around people, does she have a boyfriend if so this would effect there sexual relationship, aside the fact she is pregnant with another mans baby..
    Did she consider counselling? How did her family deal with it, are they trying to get her to talk about it or acting as if it never happened. There's lots to consider, story sounds intriguing though.

    I have no experience in this, just going by what I've seen in films and stuff.



    Evi
     
  14. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I will both agree and disagree with this statement. I agree that it will take plenty of research to tackle it and that perhaps lacking personal experience will take you in a different place than say, from the writer of Lovely Bones. However, I don't necessarily think that you should be limited to topics only from your "dull middle class existence" either. (I'm sure that it was not intended to imply that if you haven't experienced a rape that your middle class existence is "dull.")
     
  15. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Don't know what middle class existence has to do with this, but I do agree with you that it could be irresponsible to tackle the subject unless you have a depth of knowledge about it.

    Rape, child abuse, incest, all seem to be easy targets for writers who know absolutely nothing (personally) about the subjects but think they are an easy way of creating a plot.

    Lots of research is called for before anyone without the experience is qualified to write with any authority about these subjects.
     
  16. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I'd just like to say that research is exactly what chacotaco91 appears to be trying to do in an effort to get it right. I don't think that not having experience with something is a reason to not write about it. I applaud writers who want to bring attention to this from a woman's perspective (or even if they're just using it) and make an effort to get it right. Especially men. Keep doing what you're doing, chacotaco91. I, for one, think you're on the right track.
     

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