Put the Focus on Victims

No one approach works for all victims. However, you can improve your approach by knowing some of the specific needs of victims and placing them at the forefront of each response.

Understand Victims

Emotional and physical responses to sexual assault.

Coping strategies.

Stages of trauma and recovery.

Help Victims Heal

Methods of easing recovery, including inventorying existing services, sharing recovery materials with victims, and setting up support networks.

Ways to address victims' specific concerns (e.g., safety, health, privacy, finances, legal issues).

How to recognize signs of recovery.

Consider Culture and Diversity

How to provide culturally congruent care.

Victims with language or literacy needs.

Victims with spiritual needs.

Adolescent victims.

Victims on campuses.

Individuals with disabilities.

Victims of trafficking.

Migrant communities.

Rural victims.

Military victims.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims.

Specific ethnic and racial communities: African-Americans, Latinos and Latinas, Asian and Pacific Islanders, American Indians.


Checklist to help you ensure that victims remain the focus of your approach.

Key terms used throughout this section.