Sarah is 34 years old and married. She does not work on Mondays and when she is alone she spends her time at home. One Monday in the summertime she was at home relaxing and listening to music, naked in the living room. It was quite loud and her neighbor from the apartment opposite hers came in (without knocking first), in order to ask her to turn it down. When he found Sarah undressed, he took it as an invitation and despite her resistance, he raped her.
Victim’s response and symptoms
Sarah feels ashamed and guilty about the attack. She wishes that she had not had the volume up so loud and that she had locked the door. She wonders whether she should have resisted more when her neighbor started to make advances, when he had found her naked. She is also ashamed to have to explain to people that she was at home naked in the middle of the day. She thinks the whole thing is her fault.
She can no longer face her own reflection and feels dirty. She also feels stupid and is gradually withdrawing from others, even her husband and children who are desperate to help her.
Sarah is constantly thinking back to the scene of the rape and imagines various scenarios. She is unable to resume her normal life, because everything reminds her of the rape.
She cannot bear her husband touching her and refuses any kind of sexual contact since the rape. She is sure that she will never be the same again, that she is destroyed and will never be able to make love again. She has gained quite a bit of weight and no longer wears a dress or make-up, worried about arousing men.
Even though the neighbor has been arrested, Sarah wants to move. She no longer feels safe in her home and finds it unbearable to be home alone on Mondays. Sarah has lost all motivation, talks little, and has suicidal thoughts.
1. You are the Community Nurse, discuss this case. (what are your thoughts, synopsis)
2. What are you going to do?
3. Remember you need to think out of the box, as a nurse, but not just a unit nurse. Be detailed as this is your client and their life.