Rape victims react differently to similar situations

Agnes was threatened by the accused-appellant with a knife sticking at her neck. Seized by fear and helpless, Pajaro achieved his lewd desires. It was also because of fear that she did not immediately report the incident to her mother or to the authorities. It should be observed that Agnes was a young girl who grew up in the barrio. It was understandable that she did not disclose the incident because it was shameful and terrifying. At her young age, she did not possibly know what to do after the tragic incident and how to cope up with it. This was manifested by the sudden deterioration of her health and attitude. This is a good time as any to stress the fact that - "x x x Behavioral psychology teaches us that different people react to similar situations dissimilarly. Most women would resist a sexual assault with a wild struggle. Others become virtually catatonic because of the mental shock they experience. Yet, it can never be successfully argued that the latter are any less sexual victims than the former. As we held in an earlier case: "x x x A young girl, unlike a mature woman, cannot be expected to have the courage and intelligence to immediately report a sexual assault committed against her especially when a death threat hangs over her head. To her simple, unsophisticated mind, appellant's threat was not an idle one x x x." (People vs. Ibay, 233 SCRA 15) The testimony of the victim was credible and convincing. [G.R. No. 93026-27. December 17, 1996]