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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76751 Find in a Library
Title: Initial Response to Rape Prevention and Control
Journal: Health and Social Work  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(November 1978)  Pages:173-181
Author(s): M J Hoggard
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An exploratory project initiated by a social worker in a rural South Carolina community to develop rape prevention and control services is described.
Abstract: In response to the 1977 Congressional mandate that community mental health centers provide assistance to rape victims, a social worker in a rural satellite mental health office first held a workshop for key hospital personnel, police, protective services workers, community nurses, the director of the community hotline, and a member of the mental health center's board. Although official records showed only two rapes in the county in 1975, workshop participants reported knowledge of several other incidents. After a presentation on the problems and myths of rape by a consultant from the State mental health department, participants were asked to volunteer for a task force. Chaired by the social worker, this group reviewed the literature on rape and then decided to focus initially on strengthening services for rape victims and improving the attitudes of service workers. To increase community awareness of the rape problem, the task force organized a workshop for representatives from several human service groups. Experts from the State mental health department and a nearby university helped plan a program which covered male-female relationships, current laws on sexual assault, and victims' reactions to rape. Additional members were recruited for the task force which was then able to form specialized committees. A psychosocial committee focused on training human service personnel to assist rape victims, while a medical group planned to develop hospital policies for treating rape victims. Other committees concentrated on legal issues, public education, and school programs. As a result of these efforts, services for rape victims have improved and the mental health center has benefited from increased involvement with other community agencies. The article contains three footnotes.
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Interagency cooperation; Mental health services; Rape; Rape crisis centers; Rape prevention programs; Rural crime; Victim reactions to crime; Victim services
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