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Helping Sexual Assault Survivors With Multiple Victimizations and Needs: A Guide for Agencies Serving Sexual Assault Survivors

NCJ Number
J. Davies
Date Published
65 pages
This guide provides information on advocacy approaches with sexual assault survivors who have experienced multiple victimizations and have multiple needs, and it offers advocacy agencies strategies for assessing and enhancing their responses to this population.
The first chapter provides an introduction to advocacy issues and strategies with sexual assault survivors with multiple victimizations with multiple needs (MV/Ns). This chapter advises that it is particularly important for advocates to understand that many survivors with MV/Ns experienced violence as children and struggle with the long-term effects of this victimization. The introductory chapter notes that the guide focuses on three key issues. First, policies, rules, and practices can make it more difficult for some survivors of MV/N to access the help they need from community resources, including advocacy organizations. Second, multiple victimizations can lead to complex and long-term mental health issues, such as substance abuse, depression, and other effects of trauma. Third, multiple victimizations can lead to financial problems, since many survivors have few financial resources. Three elements compose the guide's basic advocacy approach with survivors with MV/N. First, advocacy is based on the needs, perspectives, and culture of survivors. Second, advocacy for survivors with MV/N is collaborative and community-based; and third, advocacy that will benefit survivors with MV/N is offered to all sexual assault survivors, given that over half of the clients are likely to have experienced multiple victimizations and have multiple needs. The second chapter explores approaches to providing support and supervision for advocates. Chapters 3 through 7 contain information on particular aspects of service provision or issues facing survivors with MV/N. Chapter 8 discusses agencywide issues, including administration and planning, community education, and systemic advocacy. Appended resources and materials