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Relationships in the “For Colored Girls” Film

One of the abusive and violent relationships seen in the film For Colored Girls is between Yasmine and a man she had recently met and started dating, named Bill. Upon going out on a date at a restaurant, Yasmine invites Bill into her home. At this point, with no warning, Bill viciously rapes Yasmine. Rape and attempted rape as well as an unwanted rough and violent sexual activity are classified as sexual abuse.

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The assessment of rape victims is a sensitive matter and poses a range of challenges. Rape is heavily traumatizing and makes individuals closed off and reluctant to talk, while also prone to depression, grief, and suicidal tendencies. Along with the treatment of physical health, it is crucial to conduct a full psychological assessment and support of the patient. No standardized tests exist for screening patients aftermath rape to evaluate their psychological state. However, it is possible to utilize screenings such as the Distress Thermometer (DT) to measure the level of distress and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 to measure PTSD which is a common effect after traumatic rape experiences. Information can be gathered through behavior, clinical interview and self-reports. The impact of sexual violence can present itself differently depending on the patient. Some see heightened arousal through aggression or anxiety, there may be hypersensitivity to stimuli, hypervigilance. Other patients demonstrate numbness, dissociation, loss of control and trust, withdrawal, shame, depression, and pain (Pater & Cohen, 2016).

It is necessary to ensure that the victim is safe and will not return to circumstances where they may be sexually assaulted again. Psychosocial interventions for survivors of rape are effective both immediately in the aftermath and in the long term. Bragesjö et al. (2020) indicate that a brief version of prolonged exposure (PE) to the memory of the fearful event in the immediate aftermath was effective in reducing early PTSD symptoms. Meanwhile, Lomax and Meyrick (2020) found that individual CBT-based interventions early post traumatic event also led to positive impacts on depression symptoms and a decrease of PTSD symptoms. The care plan is implemented with the victim when in the hospital, and plans are made for follow-up treatment and psychological care. The best means of evaluation is long-term evaluation of treatment efficacy by observing and measuring symptoms of depression, PTSD, watching for adverse effects (inclinations towards suicide), and treatment acceptability by the patient (participant does not drop out of intervention).


Bragesjö, M., Larsson, K., Nordlund, L., Anderbro, T., Andersson, E., & Möller, A. (2020). Early psychological intervention after rape: A feasibility study. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. Web.

Lomax, J., & Meyrick, J. (2020). Systematic Review: Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on wellbeing outcomes for adolescent or adult victim/survivors of recent rape or sexual assault. Journal of Health Psychology, 27(2), 305-331. Web.

Patel, N., & Cohen, J. (2016). Identification and health assessment of women survivors of rape and other torture: Handbook for clinicians. London: ICHHR

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