Welcome to the third edition of the Resource Sharing Project's e-newsletter! In this edition, we're providing you with a selection of resources specific to working with rural communities.
Several of these resources are specific to sexual assault and advocacy work in rural areas, with many thanks to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Violence Against Women Network for their extensive work on this topic. Other resources include critical information about working in rural areas on a variety of social and health issues, and much of the information contained in these articles will shed light on important topics that impact sexual assault services (such as broadband access, transportation, community culture, and the diversity of rural areas).
Thanks to Kris Bein, the Resource Sharing Project's Rural TA Specialist, for her contributions to this newsletter edition. And many thanks to all of you for your work in your communities.
Please let us know if there are topics you'd like to see covered in our regular e-newsletters. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
This comprehensive publication from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides a wealth of information or sexual assault in rural communities.
Developed with the input of rural advocates and service providers, this booklet provides insight into the perspective of rural survivors, the barriers they face in seeking services, and outlines practical strategies to support advocates in better meeting rural survivors' needs.
Click here for the publication in its entirety.
Sexual Assault in Rural Communities, Susan H. Lewis With contributions from Ellen Reed
When sexually assaulted in a rural community, victims often find that opportunities for medical, legal or emotional services are very limited, or even non-existent. Their economic situation and geographic isolation may further limit their options. Strong community ties in rural areas mean that a victim is more likely to be acquainted with the perpetrator than in urban settings. Finally, rural culture tends to be close-knit, self-contained, often conservative and unlikely to turn to ""outsiders"" for assistance. Together these characteristics result in low rates of reporting, limited opportunities for victim services, and difficulties for service providers. In other words, a victim of sexual violence in a rural community is not likely to report to police or to locate or access services.
Most service providers and researchers have not written on the topic of sexual violence in rural communities. Investigators who regularly study questions of sexual assault have generally disregarded "rurality" as a factor requiring special consideration. The documentation that does exist falls roughly into two categories; those written statements by practitioners that reflect mostly first-hand experiences and insight, and those documents by researchers that focus on the question of prevalence. Both types of resources are extremely limited.
This document presents some compelling issues concerning this largely underserved population and reviews the literature of practitioners and researchers. Finally, this summary discusses the impact of these studies on service providers and implications for further research. For the whole report, click here.
Volunteering in Under-Resourced Rural Communities, Points of Light Foundation
In 2004 the Points of Light Foundation, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, completed a study to examine volunteer engagement in rural areas and to identify practices that support volunteerism in those communities.
This report does more than explain volunteerism: it provides an in-depth perspective on the diversity across Rural America, the common challenges in rural communities, an analysis of the inconsistencies in infrastructure, and descriptions of the neighboring and informal volunteering that is currently occurring in these communities.
This report is a great resource for organizations and individuals who are interested in working with rural communities. Read the whole report below in the attachments.
Rural Sexual Assault Advocacy, Resource Sharing Project
In 2007, the Resource Sharing Project developed and distributed a Reshape newsletter on Rural Sexual Assault Advocacy. This newsletter edition is worth reviewing as you examine sexual assault services in rural communities. Several rape crisis centers as well as coalitions contributed their perspectives to this important issue. Click here to read the whole newsletter.
Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project, West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services
From 2002 to 2005, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provided funding for the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (FRIS) to develop and implement a mobile sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program in a rural area of West Virginia that could be replicated throughout the Nation. The project demonstrates the flexibility needed when communities are first planning to launch a project. For example, FRIS staff originally planned to use a self-contained mobile unit for forensic examinations. After considering the challenges involved, however, they opted instead to recruit a pool of on-call SANEs who would serve several hospitals in a four-county region. This strategy improved the quality of medical care and forensic examination of sexual assault victims by increasing the number of SANEs available to fill schedules and the opportunities available for them to further build their skills and experience, while decreasing the likelihood of SANE burnout and the cost for the hospitals involved. Although the OVC grant ended in September 2005, the SANE program continues today. Click here for the publication.
This replication guide has been developed in both a print and online format to provide technical assistance for rural communities interested in developing a similar program. The guide documents the processes involved in planning, developing, implementing, and sustaining the West Virginia project; discusses the "lessons learned"; and provides a replication checklist and information on available resources for those who serve victims of sexual assault. Much of the information presented here was drawn from FRIS's "Mobile SANE Project Final Report," accessed on the FRIS Web site.
An APA Report: The Behavioral Health Care Needs of Rural Women, American Psychological Association
Rural Women and Development, United Nations Report
Rural Victim Assistance: A Victim/Witness Guide for Rural Prosecutors, Office for Victims of Crime
Separation/Divorce Sexual Assault in Rural Communities, Walter DeKeseredy et.al, 2003
This newsletter has been edited from its orignial format and content as content has been relocated and unable to be found from orginal link source.