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Providing Counselling, Support and Information to Survivors of Rape: An Evaluation of the "STAR" Young Persons' Project

NCJ Number
Tina Skinner; Helen Taylor
Date Published
90 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of an evaluation of the STAR (Surviving Trauma After Rape) Project in West Yorkshire, England, which was created to provide specialist counseling and support services for victims of rape and sexual assault who are 14-16 years old.
Specific project objectives were to recruit and train Initial Support Workers (ISWs) and counselors, as well as develop a case-tracking service for keeping clients informed of the progress of their cases. STAR also aimed to compile a database on cases referred to the project. The evaluation focused on both the project's implementation and its effects on victims who received its services. The evaluation used a multimethod approach that allowed triangulation of data on 185 cases referred to STAR during the evaluation period. The evaluation of project implementation determined that for the duration of the evaluation, 10 ISWs and 16 counselors participated in the project's basic 2-day training. The overall response to the training was positive; however, gaps in knowledge were found. The recruitment and retention of counselors and staff was successful, but this was not true for ISWs; consequently, most survivors did not have access to ISWs. Most (73 percent) of the referrals of survivors to STAR came from police, indicating a high level of police awareness of the program. Reasons for not using STAR's services included not being aware of them, having support from other sources, and believing they would not be helped by the services. The majority (89 percent) of survey respondents were positive about receiving information on the progress of their cases, but there was apparently confusion about whether the police or STAR was the contact for case information. Feedback on counselor and ISW services was positive. Recommendations pertain to training, awareness of services, and service development. Appended evaluation instruments and 31 references