The quality of initial police and medical care contact after being raped can have great impact on the victim's ability to process and cope with what has happened. However, results from previous research indicate that many victims of rape perceive contact with community representatives after a sexual assault in ways that hinder rather than help. In relation to research focusing the juridical process, research on the contact with first responders is far less studied.
The project can be described in three phases:
- Focus groups with police officers and medical care givers;
- Interviews with women who have been raped and who have made a police report and/or undergone a medical examination;
- Questionnaires to women who have been raped and who have made a police report and/or undergone a medical examination.
Contribution of project results
The focus in the project is on both the professionals’ perceptions and the victims’ experiences. This can lead to targeted efforts to improve first responders’ capacity to meet a raped woman in a both professional and empathic way. The project is expected to generate knowledge that can be used in protecting and caring for victims and further, to offer adequate training for professionals.
The project Female rape victims: Quality of initial police and medical care contact is funded by the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority. Lisa Rudolfsson, associate professor in Psychology, is the project leader. Elisabeth Punzi, associate professor at the Department of Social Work, is a researcher within the project.
Keywords: Focus groups, Police, Raped women, Re-victimization, Secondary traumatization