Rape trauma syndrome under South African law: a focus on instituting civil damages for male and female victims of rape trauma syndrome: Part 1
CITATION: Van Der Bijl, C. 2006. Rape trauma syndrome under South African law: A focus on instituting civil damages for male and female victims of rape trauma syndrome : Part 1 . Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif 17(1):116 - 128.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_slr
INTRODUCTION: In keeping pace with a progressive approach towards the revision of rape legislation, the question may be raised as to whether the time has come to consider seriously and give more prominence to rape trauma syndrome under South African law. The term rape trauma syndrome is often clinically used to describe a multitude of sensory, cognitive, perceptual, behavioural and interpersonal symptoms, which may be exhibited in varying degrees by victims of rape. The majority of rape victims develop a pattern of moderate to severe symptoms commonly described as rape trauma syndrome, being an acute reaction to an externally imposed situational crisis. Although legal literature on rape trauma syndrome is extremely limited from a South African perspective, as it is not afforded legal recognition as such, a wealth of empirical literature exists in the United States. The term rape trauma syndrome is commonly used in legal decision-making in the United States in explaining the symptoms experienced by rape victims.