Friday, October 15, 2010

Do Rape Victim Advocates Make a Difference?

from Rebecca Campbell at Michigan State University

Rape Survivor's Experiences With the Legal and Medical Systems
Do Rape Victim Advocates Make a Difference?

This study used a naturalistic quasi-experimental design to examine whether rape survivors who had the assistance of rape victim advocates had more positive experiences with the legal and medical systems compared to those who did not work with advocates. Eighty-one survivors were interviewed in two urban hospitals about what services they received from legal and medical system personnel and how they were treated during those interactions.

Survivors who had the assistance of an advocate were significantly more likely to have police reports taken and were less likely to be treated negatively by police officers. These women also reported less distress after their contact with the legal system.

Similarly, survivors who worked with an advocate during their emergency department care received more medical services, including emergency contraception and sexually transmitted disease prophylaxis, reported significantly fewer negative interpersonal interactions with medical system personnel, and reported less distress from their medical contact experiences.

No surprises here! We all know the importance of advocates! Interested in the entire study? Just let me know and I'll send you a copy.

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