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Core Services and Characteristics of Rape Crisis Centers

NCJ Number
Kris Bein
Date Published
17 pages
This study examined several States' sexual assault service standards in order to identify similarities and differences in service provision across the Nation and identify the core services of a rape crisis center (RCC).
The study found that there is a consensus throughout the RCC field regarding indispensable features and services provided by RCCs. Services such as advocacy and crisis intervention emerge as necessary, or core, services. Many other services are also important, but their presence or absence does not change the agency's fundamental identity as a sexual assault services provider. These additions to the core services are considered "enhanced services." This analysis of State service standards details what services and methods are widely viewed as core to the rape crisis center, as well as what services may be considered "enhanced" to those core areas. Few of the State service standards for RCCs omitted a theoretical framework for understanding sexual violence. The service standards examined have sections on philosophy, approach, and guiding principles or ethics. Some go further in defining a framework for understanding sexual violence, trauma, and working with survivors, with specific standards on advocacy and intervention practices. This study recognizes services to be core when the standards require the provision of that service or attribute. The core services common across the States are crisis intervention, information and referral, general advocacy, medical advocacy, and legal advocacy. Other services required in most of the States are counseling, support groups, prevention, community awareness, professional training, and systems advocacy. References