Health
1:09 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Services For Sex Assault Victims Lacking, UT Study Finds

Services for sexual assault victims are significantly lacking in Texas, according to a new survey out of the UT-Austin. 

The study said, for example, that emergency room wait times for sex assault victims are so long that they often leave before receiving treatment and reporting the assault.

"Sexual assault crimes persist as a social problem in Texas and the need to propel this issue to the public's attention is pressing," the study's lead investigator, Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz said in a press release.

"Little is known about the factors that promote or hinder victims to seek services from law enforcement and or victim service organizations. And, less is known about how these gaps in services impact a victim’s experience for a return to full physical, mental and emotional health," she said.

The study says state and local governments should do this:

  • Make adequate and stable funding available to all the organizations whose missions are to provide direct services to sexual assault survivors and work on efforts to prevent sexual violence.
  • Strategize innovative ways to enhanced collaboration and communication among organizations that assist sexual assault victims.
  • Recruit and retain the most seasoned professionals in the field.
  • Extend accessible and competent services to all victims of this crime.
  • Initiate courageous victim-centered approaches to all stages of the process.
  • Develop revolutionary educational campaigns to broaden the understanding of this crime and decrease its stigma.

You can view the complete study here.