Caroline Clements and Richard Ogle write an interesting article in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Their findings report that women who do not acknowledge victimization report greater problems across the scope of their lives: disability, psychological problems, and reduced or impaired coping skills. This seems so obvious, that un-acknowledgment of problems leads to greater problems. I appreciate this article as they acknowledge the difficulty women have in identifying what is rape. This relates to our society’s view of rape as being only from strangers and less likely from known individuals. Yet our statistics report that most rape is from individuals known to the victims. Our society continues to disregard the acts of coercion that are a part of rape. This continued blatant disregard of all the ways that rape can happen directly effects the numbers of rape and intimate partner violence that happens. Findings like Clement’s and Ogle help identify the importance of acknowledging rape and the longer term effects on psychological functioning in IPV victims, the reasons victims don’t report and methods to help encourage reporting.
Their article is significant in it’s findings and I hope people will read it and consider their findings in the service of acknowledging the realities of violence in our society and the need to address acknowledgment and prevention.
Find the article in Volume 24, number 10, October 2009 of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence