Rape Trauma Syndrome Evidence in Court

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The use of expert psychological testimony on rape trauma syndrome in court is a relatively new phenomenon, although the basic scientific and legal questions that arise in regard to its admissibility are also associated with the admission of any type of expert psychological testimony. In assessing the current psycholegal status of rape trauma syndrome evidence, this article describes rape trauma syndrome, reviews pertinent case law, and examines the evidence in light of three criteria for the admission of expert testimony-scientific status, helpfulness to the jury, and potential prejudicial impact. Research issues pertaining to the admissibility of rape trauma syndrome evidence are also raised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-993
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1985


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