What is it about?

The current study focuses on self-labeling as a survivor among rape victims. For rape victims, to self-label, as "survivor," is considered an indicator of recovery. Our manuscript presents a unique study that examines the factors that may predict self-labeling as a survivor by rape victims through analyzing stories of sexual victimization. Within rape victim stories, we identified such variables as narrative time span, faith, rape terminology in the depiction of rape, and self-labeling as a survivor. The data supported the theoretical model we developed. It appears that time positively affects the faith and the use of rape terminology, and there is a significant correlation between faith and the use of rape terminology. Furthermore, our results indicate that faith and the use of rape terminology mediate the relationship between time and self-labeling as a rape survivor.

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Why is it important?

Our study presents an interesting research methodology, and its results are significant from theoretical and practical perspectives. From the former, this research contributes to the literature by identifying the mediators between time and self-label as a survivor. From the latter, our results have implications for therapy and counseling of rape victims. They suggest that addressing issues related to faith and the use of rape terminology in therapy and counseling for rape victims may be beneficial and promote self-labeling as a survivor.


This study is based on anonymous narratives of rape victims. The anonymity facilitated the sharing of the rape stories among those victims and survivors who otherwise would not communicate their sexual victimization. Also, this study uncovers hidden meanings and associations within narratives, thus, indicating that rape victims' stories convey more than the story of rape. The choice of specific words may suggest whether a victim undergoes a recovery process. Thus victims' stories are not just stories of rape or sexual assault, but also stories of their present mental health.

Dr Inna Levy
Ariel University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Rape narratives analysis through natural language processing: Survivor self-label, narrative time span, faith, and rape terminology., Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy, September 2020, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/tra0000587.
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