The effects of sexual trauma on Sandra

Explain the effects of sexual trauma on Sandra.

Describe two specific interventions you might use to help Sandra deal with those effects.

Explain any cultural, ethical, and legal issues related to Sandra’s treatment.

Explain what might be different in the effects of the trauma and the interventions you might select if Sandra had been a male.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are required to provide a reference list and to appropriately cite both intext citations and generally citations, in APA style with headers, all references used within your assignment.

Treating Sexual Trauma Survivors: Cultural, Ethical, and Legal Issues

The effects of sexual trauma on Sandra

Sexual trauma causes adjustment problems, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Sandra’s encounter with sexual assault at her tender age has affected her throughout her life. She feels ashamed and guilty of her condition because she suspects that her friends talk ill behind her back. The posttraumatic stress disorder and inability to adjust made her to sleep with many men and to contemplate suicide. The trauma has also left her with anxiety and depression.
Specific interventions to help Sandra deal with those effects

These interventions should be tailored towards the aiding both the victim and the community. The goals for intervening in the victim’s recovery are to return the individual to emotional equilibrium and to cognitively integrate the sexual assault experience. Community intervention goals include: the creation of a society that does not support sexual abuse, and establishment of penalties for sexual assault offenders. The interventions to be employed in this scenario should be drawn from the ethic of care. First, the social worker should attend to the needs of the client and those of the community. This involves caring for Sandra’s needs to help her heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Community needs to be assessed are in line with justice and the establishment of a society that protects others from becoming victims of sexual assault. The second intervention is to establish an appropriate response and act in line with the assessment of my own natural caring response. It is important to draw upon the knowledge of others’ desires and feelings, the likely consequence of my response on others, and the limitations on my obligation to care (Vonk, 1999).

Cultural, ethical, and legal issues related to Sandra’s treatment

The legal issues related to Sandra’s treatment include the effect of police and court involvement on the issue of rape. Research shows victims who get involved in the criminal justice system are able to express anger, emotionally process the event, get empowered, and reduce feelings of victimization (Noddings, 1984). The mediating factors that shape the outcome of legal intervention include the quality of relationship between the victim with the police and legal personnel, the outcome of the trial, and the degree of social support for the victim throughout the process (Vonk, 1999).

Cultural factors related to Sandra’s treatment include the stereotypic nature of the sexual assault occasioned to the victims. The factors include whether the victim had physical signs of injury, whether the perpetrator was a stranger, whether the victim is visibly depressed while reporting, and whether she reports immediately after the rape. Women who fail to meet these standards are likely to be treated less equitably by the different social control agents. The ethical issues related to this case scenario include the perceptions of the perpetrators towards sexual assault. Most perpetrators who commit rape offenses without being caught do not always feel that they are offending the victim. Thus, most men believe that forcing a female counterpart for sexual intercourse is not bad unless found. This poses hurdles on Sandra proving her victimization and it may reduce her process of healing (Vonk, 1999).
What might be different in the effects of the trauma and the interventions if Sandra had been a male

Like women, a male victim also tends to blame himself for what happened to him as a child. The disadvantage for a male victim is that he is less likely to share his encounters with others because of the lesser value that male place on relationships. This is because male are culturally taught not to express their emotions. (Hunter, 2009)


Hunter, S. V. (2009). Beyond Surviving: Gender Differences in Response to Early Sexual                        Experiences with Adults. Journal of Family Issues, 30(391).

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A Feminine Appoach to Ethics and Moral Education. LA, CA:       University of California Press.

Vonk, M. E. (1999). An Ethic of Care: A Framework for Ethical Decision Making with    Survivors of Sexual Assault. Social Thought, 19(1).