Guide Helps Sexual Assault Survivors In Healing And Recovery
Sept. 2, 1999 -- A newly reprinted guide offers
free help to sexual assault survivors, their family and friends.
by the Sexual
Assault Education Office in the University of Virginia 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 rights.
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 begins with 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.
sections describe survivors' legal rights and the range of behavioral
and emotional reactions they will likely experience. The guide also
offers a list of agencies and resources that can help survivors.
section written for U.Va. students points out that alcohol consumption
could lead to sexual assault. That 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. Another several dozen people critically
read the material to insure a comprehensive, accurate description
of services available to area residents, Kaplan said.
area programs, 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," said Kaplan.
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.
can be obtained by stopping by 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
more information, contact Claire Kaplan at (804) 982-2774.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857