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Sexual Assault Victim Advocates in Virginia: Challenges Faced in the Field

Author: DIANNE CARMODY
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 29 No. 2

In 2004, Virginia State Senate Joint Resolution 131 led to a
study of services for sexual assault victims in Virginia. (Barbosa,
Carmody, Gainey, Payne, Plichta, Sajko, Vandecar-Burdin, 2005)
Utilizing a variety of research methodologies, the study examined the
response by law enforcement, criminal justice, medical and social
service agencies. It also included interviews with sexual assault victim
advocates and focus group interviews with various professionals. This
article summarizes major findings from the focus groups as well as the
in-depth interviews with twenty- three sexual assault victim advocates
in Virginia. It highlights the challenges they face and
recommendations for change.

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