The symptoms of marital rape are similar to the symptoms of rape in general. However, the emotional impact is usually more intense. The greater injury comes from being intimately violated by a person who is supposed to love, care for and protect the woman. This violation can destroy a woman’s capacity to love or trust other people (ARMR). An early study conducted by Finkelhor and Yllo in 1985 suggested that while the impact of marital rape is similar to rape in general, feelings of betrayal, isolation, and entrapment impacted victims of marital rape more than victims of general rape.
Women who occurrence marital rape react more negatively to the feelings of violation more than to the physical injury. These feelings may include distrust of men and other feelings that include shame, humiliation, and embarrassment. Some victims suffer from Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS), which is a type of post-traumatic stress disorder. Sufferers of RTS have a psychological reaction to marital rape involving shock and shame. Other symptoms are headaches, sleep disturbances and fatigue (Rape is Abuse).
Physical symptoms of marital rape are anal or vaginal stretching and bleeding, bladder infections, leaking of urine, missed periods, miscarriages, stillbirths, unwanted pregnancy, and infertility. Many women contract sexually transmitted disease as a result of marital rape. (Sexual Assault).
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