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Consider Culture and Diversity

Sexual violence knows no boundaries. It does not distinguish between racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. Victims vary by social class, spiritual beliefs, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender, age, literacy, and previous victimizations. "No universal formula to meet the needs of all underserved populations exists, because each group is unique."1 However, you can improve your approach by looking carefully at the needs of specific populations.

Ethnic and cultural groups have distinct histories, values, and traditions. The purpose of cross-cultural service delivery is to affirm and preserve victims' traditions and values in an effective, appropriate, and respectful manner. To support the cultural heritage of sexual assault victims, you need to know why some sexual assault victims are underserved.

This section reviews how to provide culturally congruent care and how to serve specific types of victims: