Hogeschool Leiden

Trauma inside

ACES CONNECTION - 3 september 2020 - Peer van der Helm omschrijft de negatieve en cruciale impact van verkrachting op jongeren in gevangenschap.

An estimated 7% of all youth in prison in the USA are being raped inside (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svryjf18.pdf). This presents a huge trauma for an already vulnerable population. Even the rigorous PREA Act from 2003 was not able to stem this tide. Most rapes are perpetrated by other inmates but also by staff. The consequences from ordinary rape outside (circa 12% in the general population) are already devastating, but rape inside is wrought with extra problems and extra trauma.

Eva Bicanic (expert on sexual abuse in the Netherlands) argues that rape is the most likely cause of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One of the mechanisms of acquiring PTSD after rape is being unable to activate your natural fight-flight reactions and freeze. This helplessness activates PTSD according to Boston based professor Bessel van der Kolk and expert on PTSD (read his excellent book: ‘The body keeps the score’).


Het volledige artikel is (in het Engels) te lezen op de website van ACEs Connection