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Criminal Justice Name Institution Course Date The rape trauma syndrome Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS) is a medical term that is used to describe the reactions and responses that rape victim experience. It is the psychological trauma that victims of abuse experience. These responses reported by rape victims include emotional, physical and behavioral reactions. RTS is used to describe the normal and natural reactions that a psychologically healthy person has once they become victims of rape, and hence they do not constitute a mental disorder or illness. Ann Burgess and Lynda Holmstrom developed the theory of RTS in 1974. RTS identifies three stages that a rape victim goes through. The first is the acute stage, then the external adjustment stage and finally the renormalization stage. The acute phase occurs after the rape and the durations it last varies for different victims. Some of the emotional reactions that are experienced during this stage include feelings of shock and disbelief. Once the sense of shock begins to decline, the victims experience fear of physical injury or death. The victims can have feelings that range from humiliations to guilt, shame, and self-blame (Coppin, 2000). Some victims may mask and hide there, and hence they will appear calm and unaffected by the assault. Physical reactions during this stage include feeling of soreness all over their body and feeling of pain in specific areas targeted by the assailants in the sexual assault. The external adjustment step involves underground stage were the victim attempts to return to their normal lives as if nothing had happened. They try to block what they experienced from their minds, and they may

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