The purpose of this project is to introduce a brochure, based on current evidence, that can help rape victims find a healthy approach to recovery. It is important to provide victims with support, contact numbers, counselors and self help strategies in case they do not follow up with a medical professional. If victims refuse to talk it is important to teach them about therapeutic poetry and journaling which are optimal ways of expressing emotions. Holding in feelings over time can lead to self directed violence, nightmares, trust issues, and changes in relationships. Victims are at risk for re-victimization by society and the justice system. A brochure could provide reading material that can enable victims to regain control, and initiate the healing process when emotionally ready. Many victims are under so much shock and are unable to really listen because they are numb. Written material will enable victims to start the healing process on their own allowing the victim to take control. Brochures can empower victims to find answers, express feelings and break their own silent reaction. Rape statistics show that they are not alone, it is important for victims to feel this. Those victims who are unwilling to communicate thoughts independently, with counselors, friends, family or health care professional are at risk for ineffective coping, increase anxiety, depression, impulsive aggression, and post traumatic stress disorder. Depression, mood swings and suicidal thoughts can occur if acute trauma is left unresolved or untreated. It is important to be socially connected and emotionally stable, and find ways to move from victim to survivor. Each person processes the event in their own way and recovery takes time. The question is could this educational brochure act as a guide for nurses, to provide victims with a tool for a safer discharge home?
Setting of the problem
A western New York five hundred bed hospital in an urban community sees victims of abuse both in the emergency room and the women’s health center. Nurses are confronted with young female victims of various ages, class, culture, and race, who are in abusive relationships or have been assaulted. The vast majority of these victims’ female, and college aged. Addressing the issue of rape is sometime difficult and uncomfortable for both the victim and caregiver. The dialogue, voice tone and body language and advice that nurses articulate to victims can have a lifetime affect. It is important to establish a trusting relationship with victims, to allow for open communication when addressing the sensitive issue of sexual assault. Rape leaves emotional scars that do not heal as quickly as physical wounds. The nurses best equipped to handle victims like this are forensic nurses. The problem stems from underage drinking, loss of control and the ability to say “no” against a deaf perpetrator. The disgusting act of perversion weighs heavy on the minds of the victims, family and...