Archive for April, 2012

A commentary on women in the military who report being raped and being discharged with a personality disorder

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Are mental health practitioners using personality disorder diagnoses to help the military “get rid of” women who report being raped? This question is at the heart of a growing concern about the pervasiveness of sexual assault in the military and how the military responds when a sexual assault is reported. (more…)

Forensic Testimony About Rape Trauma Syndrome

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Should forensic testimony about “rape trauma syndrome” be excluded in civil suits where a rape victim is seeking damages for psychological harm? Based on an opinion by the Washington Court of Appeals in 2010, it appears the answer is this: It depends on the purpose of the testimony.

The opinion was issued in the case of Carlton v. Vancouver Care. In this case, it was undisputed that a woman suffering from severe dementia had been raped by an attendant while residing in a “memory care” facility operated by the defendant Vancouver Care, LLC. She died 13 months later. Her estate then sued the care facility for damages. The central issue was whether and to what extent Ms. Carlton had suffered psychological harm as a result of the rape. (more…)