What is an empowerment approach to working with sexual assault survivors?

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Abstract

This exploratory study sought to better understand what constitutes the empowerment approach used by rape crisis advocates working with sexual assault survivors. A grounded theory, qualitative, semistructured interview study was conducted of rape victim advocates (N=25) working in rape crisis centers in a large metropolitan area. Several characteristics were described as reflecting an empowerment orientation or approach to work with survivors, some of which were specifically described as a “feminist” empowerment approach. Implications for research and practice are drawn. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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