Barriers to Services for Rural and Urban Survivors of Rape


A significant proportion of survivors of rape do not utilize formal services to cope with the aftermath of rape. Understanding victimization experiences in environments that differ on resources, such as rural versus urban areas, may be an important dimension to consider in understanding barriers. Thirty women (18 rural and 12 urban) were recruited from rape crisis centers to participate in focus groups. Study results suggest that (a) survivors of rape experience many barriers to service utilization, (b) there were some differences in barriers to service utilization that were mentioned only in rural areas and some that were mentioned only in urban areas that may suggest that community context is important to consider in understanding barriers to service use, and (c) barriers to health and mental health services overlap with barriers to criminal justice system services.

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Published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, v. 20, no. 5, p. 591-616.

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