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Caring about sexual assault

Author(s)Morrison, Zoe
Title Caring about sexual assault
Source Family Matters,2007, No. 76, pp55-63
Date 2007
Document type Research report
Summary This article explores the effects of sexual assault on family members and on overall family functioning. The focus is on the effects of sexual assaults that are not perpetrated by a family member and where the victim was an adult rather than a child. The author discusses the importance of families and the ways families and individual family members can be adversely affected as well as the positive or negative effects the family members can have on the victim of sexual assault. In the concluding section of the article the author suggests some basic principles and practical ways family members may respond positively to assist a victim of sexual assault. For example, the importance of believing and accepting victims and using non-judgemental listening is explained. Suggestions for the non-victim family members in caring for themselves are also given, such as not blaming themselves and seeking support. The policy implications in the areas of community education, service funding and research are briefly outlined.
Keywords Sexual assault; family members; support
Topic Sexual assault