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NCJ Number: 223520 Find in a Library
Title: "I Have Heard Horrible Stories..." Rape Victim Advocates' Perceptions of the Revictimization of Rape Victims by the Police and Medical System
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:14  Issue:7  Dated:July 2008  Pages:786-808
Author(s): Shana L. Maier
Date Published: July 2008
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined rape-victim advocates' perceptions of the revictimization of rape victims by the police and the medical system.
Abstract: According to rape-victim advocates, police contribute to rape victims' distress by acting detached, cold, and perfunctory in their interactions with rape victims. Invasive questions may cause victims to feel the rape was their fault. Medical personnel, particularly emergency-room doctors and nurses, may be another source of the revictimization of rape victims. Victims may wait a long time for a rape examination, only to encounter rushed doctors or nurses who ask judgmental questions, tell victims their stories are not believable, treat victims as though they are not real emergencies, and threaten not to treat them. Medical treatment for rape victims has improved recently, however, because of the promotion and effectiveness of SANE programs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners), which involves the use of nurses who have been trained to conduct a sensitive and competent examination of rape victims. Given these findings, it is important for rape crisis centers to continue to provide and expand training to police and medical personnel regarding appropriate ways to interview and interact with rape victims. It is also important for victim advocates to appreciate that police and medical personnel have a responsibility to obtain as much information and physical evidence as possible in order to build a strong case. Interviews were conducted with 58 rape-victim advocates affiliated with 5 community-based rape crisis centers and 1 university-based rape crisis center located in 4 east coast States. Individuals qualified for participation in the study only if they had completed between 40 and 50 hours of rape-victim advocate training, had been a rape-victim advocate for 1 month or longer, and had worked with at least one rape victim in the past year. 9 notes and 49 references
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Police services for victims; Police-victim interaction; Victim medical assistance; Victim reactions to the Criminal Justice System
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