January 25th, 2007

Kidnapping and trauma

(Modern Day America)

I have searched google and wikipedia with various combinations of kidnapping, police protocol, post traumatic stress disorder, therapy, and sexual abuse and haven't found what I was looking for.

One is a minor detail, but I want to get it right.

In my current project, the main character (fifteen year old male, but much more mature than the average boy) is kidnapped. After about five weeks, during which he was sexually abused on a regular basis, he is found by the police and returned home. He's kind of banged up, but nothing very serious (bruises and scratches, but no broken bones or serious wounds), so would he be taken to a hospital by the police, or would his family do that when he was returned? How long would it take for him to be allowed to go home?

Second is the major punch of my story, and it's important I get it right.

My main character's twin brother, after hearing what happened to him, believes that it might help him to feel like he can fight back, so he starts deliberately doing things to set him off. He grabs his wrist, or invades his personal space, and when the MC starts freaking out, the brother lets him punch or kick him a few times until he calms down.

From what I've looked for, this would obviously have negative long term affects, but what would they be in the short term? Would it do him any good, or at least look like it is? The brother isn't stupid, and if it's obviously hurting my MC rather than helping, he would stop doing it (And I'd need to seriously re-work my plot, but that's neither here nor there).

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!

The early Lutheran church

The setting: An AU but parallel Earth, a small, thriving town, home-base of a fairly important noble family but otherwise somewhat out of the way. (It has a minor vampire problem.) It's in the equivalent of southeastern Germany, in a Lutheran principality in a period vaguely between the equivalents of the Peace of Augsburg and the Peace of Westphalia.

The question: I need to know about the daily life of an ordinary Lutheran Church in this time and place. What would the liturgy be like? When would they have services? What else would happen at the church & how central would the church and pastor be to the community? How would a congregation get a new pastor, and how would he have been trained? (Presumably at one of the Lutheran universities, or would you get pastors with limited education?) What was the church bureacracy, and the local church government, like? Funerals, baptism, weddings, exorcism, ordinations. Would they have eaten the left-over Communion bread with dinner, or would they have disposed of it specially? Where would the pastor live, and how unusual would it be to be unmarried? Etc, etc, etc. Part of the reason for the general AU-ness is so that I don't have to over-research all this stuff, but I'd like at least a general idea.

The sources: I've tried looking this up *many* times over a period of years on the internet, and never gotten much. Looking up church history and all the possible vartiations and subsets thereof gets me *political* histories of the period, and detailed accounts of the doctrinal changes, and accounts that only talk about, say, 20th century stuff, or the American church, or the careers of particular luminaries in the church. And I've found some academic historical stuff where I can wade through twenty pages for one or two tidbits that are kind of helpful. Books have been about the same results. I even waded through the Book of Concord. (I thought about Table Talk, but the only copies I could find were in languages I don't know, and it's too early anyway.) Either I'm going about this entirely the wrong way, or the information's just not out there. I need the ordinary, day-to-day life of the Lutherans who weren't actively involved in making history. (Maybe there just weren't any.)

I'd love websites, keyword help, book recs, vague memories, anything! I don't want to have to do this the hard way if somebody else has already written it up.

Use of titles/honourifics on British Passports/I.D.

The Situation: The MC is the grandson and only male heir of an English Earl. He has his own title of Viscount so-and-so, but he has fled to Canada and doesn't want anyone there to know he is a peer of the realm. He has brought his passport and any other I.D. I need to make this plot-point work. Another character has found one/all of these documents and has *gasp* discovered he is a Lord!!!

The Search: An honest-to-goodness book on Titles and Forms of Address for the U.K. Google and Wilkipedia with every variation of titles/honourifics/forms of address and British Passports/I.D. I now know whom to write to to find out whether or not a person is actually a Peer, how to refer to them in writing, formally and informally, and how to apply under every possible category for a British passport, but what I don't know is...

The Question: Does governmentally-issued I.D. in England make mention of someone's title if they are a Peer? In other words, would someone's passport actually say: "The Right Honourable The Viscount so-and-so?" And if it wasn't on governmental I.D., what type of document would have that kind of information besides a piece of formal correspondence? 

Thank you kindly for your help in this matter,

I have the honour to remain,
Your faithful servant

Consanguinity/affinity and the widow of a duke's heir

Setting: England and Scotland, 1803-1805

Research Undertaken So Far: Googling peerage courtesy titles, duke's heir's wife, and duke's heir's widow have all been fruitless. Also, I've consulted a website that I've found incredibly helpful in the past: Peerage Basics to no avail and as for the first part of this question, I've looked at the 1662 printing of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Questions:Collapse )

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

ETA: I've got enough information about the second questsion...don't need any more suggestions on that, thanks.

Rape, Single Motherhood

Thank you for your answers.
I have come to some conclusions; chiefly, that her experience would have been like someone who was given a date rape drug (since she doesn't remember the rape). I'm looking online for personal experience stories.
Thank you.

Two questions. I apologize if I may have asked this before; it was a long time ago (over a year) if I did, and I don't remember.

1. Rape.
The scenario: a deeply religious teenage girl (about 16), who is a virgin, is knocked unconscious and raped while unconscious. She has no memory of the actual rape, only of the trauma of being knocked out, and waking up in the equivalent of a hospital. She discovers some time later that she's pregnant.
What would she feel about a rape that she doesn't remember? Would she have issues over sex? This was a woman just coming into her sexuality, who desparately wanted a lover prior to the rape. Later on, about fifteen years later, she falls in love and gets married. She deeply loves her child and is glad to have the child.
So. How would she feel about the rape, resolve it, etc.

2. Lonely single mother.
My aforementioned single mother goes to live as an outcast (because she bears a halfbreed child in a very racist setting), in a group of people who are outcasts, on the equivalent of a colony for social misfits. She struggles to survive, works her fingers to the bone. Prior to getting pregnant, she really longed for a man to share her life with, and had a very serious "crush" for an unnattainable man (who had vows of celibacy). What would her feelings be now? Would she be likely to consider men in her group? How much would she be likely to fantasize about falling in love, having sex, etc. even if it seemed like an impossibility that she should ever "hook up" with anyone, and even with a child to raise?

Edited to say:
This is a culture without abortion. They claim to revere life. But... they're very intolerant of outsiders. This is an extraterrestrial civilization related to humans. She was raped by a human.

Second edit, for clarification:
Yes, actually I am looking for different cultural attitudes... also, personal experiences are welcome... sorry I didn't say that.