The mental health focus in rape crisis services: tensions and recommendations

Violence Vict. 2012;27(1):95-108. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.27.1.95.


In the evolution of rape crisis services, tensions persist between rape crisis service programs and mental health professionals. Changes within these programs and professions have brought the embedded concerns to the surface, but they remain unexamined and unresolved. Recent research on rape trauma and survivors' mental health needs has added to tensions by calling for description and evaluation of rape crisis services and timely psychological treatment for survivors. This article offers a new perspective by discussing the tensions in an open but balanced way so as to promote discussion and solutions. Recommendations and action steps are offered for promoting constructive dialogue and change to improve direct services for survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Crisis Intervention / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Rape / psychology
  • Rape / rehabilitation*
  • Social Support
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States