"Lecture 8 Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence"
Lecture 8 Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence The Effects of Sexual Violence on Survivors PTSD Patricia Resick (1993) psychological impacts of rape effects include fear and anxiety, depression, Iow self-esteem, poor social adjustment, sexual dysfunction Resick includes compulsive behaviour, alcoholism and drug problems, paranoia and. 'nervous breakdowns', avoiding intimate relationships, disturbed sleep, nightmares, exaggerated startled responses, flashbacks, impairment of concentration and memory, and guilt (see Allison and Wrightsman, 1993). Some public understanding of PSTD But can be used against the victim in court Different Responses between Men and Women. Many experience same symptoms. Frazier (1983) two differences 1. men less likely to report then women 2. "...male victims, who have not come to terms with their victimisation, may be more likely to victimise others..." (1993:64-65). Cycle of abuse model problematic. Post Rape PSTD Rothbaum et al (1992) - 94% of rape 'victims' experienced PTSD directly after the rape 47% continued the symptoms after 3 months Long term PTSD in Rape victims compared other violent crimes. (Kilpatrick et al, 1987). The speed at which survivors make a recovery from PTSD is dependent on a number of variables: 1. Prior to the Assault: the psychological functioning of the survivor; 2. Assault variables: such as the relationship between attacker and attacked, the level of violence, and the reaction of the attacked at the time of the assault; 3. Post assault variables: the initial reaction, whether they report the rape; and Social Support, within the family, friends and the doctor dealing with the case (Resick, 1993). Lees (1997) Notes reactions of Police and courts impacts on survivors recovery Specialist Support Provision Whose Responsibility? State or Private sector Not seen by state as it's direct responsibility. G P’ s and nursing– deficit in training-mostly voluntary. Question of role of state central. Voluntarism or obligation? Public or private (Dobash and Dobash 1992) State Role- A Deeply Political Issue. Private life seen as outside bounds of legitimate state intervention. (Dobash and Dobash, 1992) Nanny state? Funding for what is seen as a private issue A deeply political issue when we look at causes. Support primarily in hands of Voluntary sector Rape Crisis Centres, Women's Aid, Victim Support etc Police suspicion around some of these. Critical of Police and Courts Little improvement under Labour Crime Reduction Programme -Home Office -development SARC’s local rather than a national mandate. Free services Rape Crisis Voluntary sector initiatives. Influence of feminist politics and women’s movement By 1995 approximately 95 groups in England and Wales (Root and Davies, 1995). Variability in services. Federation of Rape Crisis England A feminist organisation Closed 2003 due to lack of funding. SARC’s Not overtly feminist offer services to men also. State initiatives – interagency innovation Limited reach, uneven development (see map) Acknowledgement of a duty of care to all victims. To improve reporting rates Address attrition rates Improvement in the collection of forensic evidence. Human Rights Act 1998 Victim's Charter -needs of victim become the focus Low level of reporting/disclosure Pain at remembering and discussing the violence Embarrassment at the thought of discussing personal details with Guilt Wanting move on Fear of being disbelief/blame Fear of court process, facing offender/ cross examination Institutional racism/ discrimination/ legal reprisals Cultural barriers Fear of repeat victimisation / reprisal To protect family Unaware of services Improvements in reporting but high rates of attrition (Gregory and Lees/ Harris and Grace 1999 Tempkin 1996; 1997, 1998, and Kelly). Attrition Why? Delays in locating a forensic doctor or lack of female forensic doctors The environment in which examinations took place, US case- contamination of samples Inappropriate treatment Little medical follow up and support Unnecessary info being collected contraceptive use sexual history, previous abortions etc Victim Support Schemes Victim Support -close working relationship with the police, not overtly feminist provide services for both men and women. Not a specialist service offer support to all victims of crime National Association of Victim Support Schemes. Government funding By 1987 there were 360 schemes in England and Wales (Gill and Mawby, 1990). Initial inexperience of volunteers Working party to explore the availability of services for survivors of sexual violence Serious deficiency in this area of service and that the role of Victim Support should be extended" (Victim Support, 1994: vi). 1988 a specific training package on rape and sexual assault was issued by NA VSS- updated in 1994 and 1995. Services to provides specialist knowledge of the court. Witness Liaison Officers Sometimes only a complimentary approach depending on local expertise and training Gillespie (1994) Victim Support schemes are reliant upon their relationship with the police in order to receive Home Office staffing grants. Close relationship with the police has positive and negative influences Politics of service provision Confrontation between agencies More cooperative in US and Europe (Matthews, 1994). Feminism ‘Outsider’ and ‘insider’ groups Individualisation and depoliticisation (Foley, 1996). Feminism- experience of the survivor in the broader political context of patriarchal relations. violence against women is legitimised and normalized within patriarchy. 'treating' the survivor whilst 'supporting' the status quo. NA VSS focuses on campaigns that centre around the rights of 'victims' in general. Lupton (1994) "degenderisation" of crime Maguire (1988) deliberate marginalisation of RC Conclusions and central issues Effects on survivors Limited funding Conflict between groups Change in dynamics Whose responsibility? Move towards inter-agency collaboration