Recently, The New Paper told the story of a young woman who suffered an attempted rape and other forms of sexual assault by a teenager. The teen received a sentence of eight years in jail and a dozen strokes of the cane for the incident, along with a stern warning from judge. The teen’s victim is likely to suffer the mental distress of the incident for years.

The Attempted Rape

Marcus Yow Kai Wen, the teenage perpetrator of the crime, had been watching pornographic videos online. Some of the videos showed rapes, and the teen became obsessed with performing a rape himself. The impulse drove him to seize 25-year-old Sarah (not her real name), hold a sharp letter opener to her throat, and haul her to a secluded area of the neighbourhood. The teen tried to rape Sarah, but failed because she wore a tampon. Instead, he performed other humiliating acts on her. Out of fear, she didn’t fight the attacker until she saw two people walking within earshot. She cried for help, and the teen ran as the passers-by came to her aid.

A History of Disturbing Acts

Prior to the attempted rape, Yow had attacked four other women, blinding them by throwing bags or clothing over their heads. Sarah’s attempted rape occurred while Yow was on probation for those incidents.

The Onset of PTSD

Formerly a bright, talkative person with a cheerful personality, Sarah changed after the traumatic event. She withdrew from those around her, including her boyfriend. Her emotions became a roller-coaster of anxiety, anger, and sadness, consistent with classic post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. According to those closest to her, Sarah’s recovery has been painfully slow.

Physical Symptoms of Mental Distress

When a person suffers physical and psychological trauma in the way that Sarah did, the effects are deep and long-lasting. In Sarah’s case, her minor injuries healed fairly quickly, but she struggles to sleep soundly. Terrible dreams plague her nights, and flashbacks haunt her during the day. Sometimes she can’t fall asleep for fear of the nightmares recurring. “She does not eat well and that leads to ailments,” her boyfriend told The New Paper.

Changes in Behaviour and Relationships

The trauma extends to other areas of Sarah’s life. She changed residences to avoid walking the same way home, the path on which Yow grabbed her. She tries to avoid male strangers and she is nervous of being alone at a lift landing.

Sarah’s boyfriend has been supportive, but the change in her personality and behaviour has taken a toll on him too. It distressed him to hear about what happened to his beloved girlfriend, especially during the prosecution’s presentation of the case in court.

The Steps to Recovery

If you have a friend or relative who suffered a sexual assault or rape, avoid blaming the person in any way. Allow your loved one to talk to you confidentially, and preserve that trust and confidence. If the trauma continues to affect your loved one’s health and relationships, gently suggest a visit to a psychologist in Singapore.

Whether you or someone you know is struggling with emotional and psychological distress, the doors are open at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. You’ll find a caring, understanding team of Singapore psychiatrists, office staff, and psychologists who will preserve your privacy and offer you the best therapies and treatments available to help you cope and recover.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: The New Paper, 30 August, 2016