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Local Professor Suggests Teen Sex Abuse Victims Confront Trauma Head-On

(Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

(Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ed Fischer) Robin Culverwell
Robin Culverwell has been an editor, reporter and anchor for KYW...
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By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A University of Pennsylvania professor has co-authored a study of treatment for adolescent rape victims, and found a treatment often used for combat veterans is very effective.

Prolonged exposure therapy has patients discussing traumatic memories and face stressful situations. It’s proven very effective in a study of 61 adolescent rape victims.

Penn psychiatry professor Dr. Edna Foe found that many rape victims with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder blame themselves for not stopping the rape, but…

“When they go back to the memory, most of the time they find they didn’t have any choice, and so it helps them stop blaming themselves. It gives them a new perspective.”

Dr. Foe says this takes a dozen or so treatment sessions with a counselor.

Without help, those with PTSD may wind up in a downward spiral of depression and an inability to function.

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