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NCJ Number: 51107 Find in a Library
Title: PROBLEMS AND PITFALLS OF RAPE VICTIM RESEARCH - AN ANALYSIS OF SELECTED METHODOLOGICAL, ETHICAL AND PRAGMATIC CONCERNS
Author(s): K A HOLMES; J E WILLIAMS
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: MH27928
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ANALYSIS OF METHODOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES OF RAPE VICTIM RESEARCH DISCUSSES LOCATING PARTICIPANTS, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INITIAL CONTACT PERSON, ADVOCATE VERSUS RESEARCH ROLE CONFLICTS, AND MORAL CONCERNS.
Abstract: THIS REVIEW OF THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED DURING A 2-YEAR RAPE RESEARCH PROJECT DETAILS REASONS WHY IT WAS EASIER TO INTERVIEW A STRATIFIED SAMPLE OF OVER 1000 PERSONS FOR A PUBLIC ATTITUDE SURVEY THAN IT WAS TO LOCATE 100 RAPE VICTIMS; ONLY 61 VICTIMS PARTICIPATED IN THIS STUDY. POTENTIAL STUDY PARTICIPANTS WERE IDENTIFIED THROUGH THE ALAMO AREA VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE PROGRAM, SAN ANTONIO, TEX. BIAS WHICH IS INTRODUCED WHEN VICTIMS ARE LOCATED THROUGH ONLY ONE SOURCE IS EXAMINED, AND IT WAS FOUND THAT MANY WOMEN GAVE FALSE ADDRESSES TO THE CENTER OR HAD TRANSIENT LIFESTYLES. THE PROBLEMS OF TRYING TO TRACK DOWN POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS WITHOUT REVEALING THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE DESCRIBED. A TABLE LISTS REASONS FOR VICTIM SAMPLE ATTRITION. A CONTACT PERSON WAS FINALLY HIRED TO HANDLE THIS JOB, AND ONCE CONTACT WAS ESTABLISHED IT WAS FOUND THAT THE VICTIMS EXPECTED THE RESEARCHER TO FUNCTION AS A SOCIAL SERVICES WORKER. THE RESEARCHER WAS ASKED TO HANDLE PROBLEMS RANGING FROM SECURING FOOD STAMPS TO ADJUSTING RENT BILLS. IT WAS FOUND THAT RAPE VICTIMS NEED A GREAT DEAL OF FOLLOWUP, AND AN ADVOCATE PROGRAM IS RECOMMENDED. THE ETHICAL-MORAL CONCERNS DISCUSSED INCLUDE INVASION OF PRIVACY, THE NEED FOR BACKUP COUNSELING FOR WOMEN WHO BECOME UPSET BY THE INTERVIEW, AND SCREENING OF PATIENT RECORDS TO AVOID INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN WHO SEEM SUICIDAL OR SUFFERING FROM SEVERE EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. MANY OF THE WOMEN FELT BETTER AFTER TALKING AND WERE GLAD TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH TO HELP OTHERS. THIS INFORMAL DISCUSSION CONTAINS MANY EXAMPLES. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Professional conduct and ethics; Rape; Research; Research methods; Researcher subject relations; Sexual assault victims
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51107

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