Free guide offered
for sexual assault survivors
By Ida Lee Wootten
newly reprinted guide offers free help to sexual assault survivors,
their families and friends. Published by the Sexual Assault Education
Office in the U.Va. Women's Center, the booklet provides guidelines
for helping people immediately after an incident as well as throughout
recovery. "Handbook for Survivors: A Guide to Surviving Sexual
Assault" helps victims and those close to them understand the
emotional issues they face and spells out their legal and medical
goal in creating the guide is to make sure survivors are fully aware
of their rights and have easy access to information that can aid
in the healing process," said Claire Kaplan, sexual assault
education coordinator at U.Va.
in a clear, straightforward manner, the guide gives step-by-step
procedures to follow immediately after a sexual assault. It then
describes what survivors will face when going to the emergency room
and reporting the assault to police. In addition, the guide includes
a list of agencies and resources that can help survivors.
section written for U.Va. and other college students points out
that alcohol consumption could lead to sexual assault. The section
also provides a list of resources for University students.
than a dozen people in diverse fields ranging from medicine and
counseling to law enforcement contributed information for the guide,
first published in 1993.
organizations, such as the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, Charlottesville
Free Clinic and Department of Social Services, are distributing
the guides. At U.Va., several departments, including Student Health,
police and the emergency room, offer the guides.
want the book to give people the message that there are many allies,
many experts to help them," Kaplan said.
began assembling the first edition of the handbook eight years ago
after establishing U.Va.'s Sexual Assault Education Office and realizing
that no comprehensive guide existed to help sexual assault survivors.
The guide has proved so helpful that many other campuses nationwide
have used it as a model, she said.
for the handbook was provided by U.Va.'s Sexual Assault Education
Office, the Parents Program of the U.Va. Fund, the Sexual Assault
Resource Agency in Charlottesville and the Virginia departments
of Criminal Justice Services and Health.
for Survivors: A Guide to Surviving Sexual Assault" can be
obtained by stopping at or calling U.Va.'s Sexual Assault Education
Office. Located within the Women's Center at University Avenue and
14th Street, the office can be reached at 982-2774.