Document Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

Sexual Assault, Rural, West Virginia

Biography

Stephanie is a senior psychology major with a minor in women studies. She works part time at the Women and Gender Center on Marshall University's campus. Her passion is advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by creating and executing educational programs to inform others.

Major

Psychology

Advisor for this project

Dr. Dawn Goel

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

19-4-2019 10:30 AM

Abstract

An Examination of Sexual Assault Resource Programs in West Virginia

Every 98 seconds, an individual in the United States is sexually assaulted (WV FRIS 2018). This means that one out of every six individuals in our country is the victim of an attempted or completed assault in their lifetime. Rural communities tend to have fewer resources when it comes to victims of sexual assault, and this type of victimization is often underreported in these communities. Specifically, in 2015 an estimated 19% of rape and sexual assault victimizations were reported to the police in urban areas, compared to an estimated 2% in rural areas (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015). Underreporting in rural communities may be due to factors such as lack of familiarity, isolation, social climates that foster informal authority, mistrust of government, and an inclination to conceal internal and personal problems (Ruback & Menard 2001). The goal of the present research is to investigate sexual resource programs in urban and rural counties in West Virginia to compare the availability of resources for victims of sexual assault. In the end, I hope to be able to examine the effects of available resources on reporting and prosecution rates.

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Apr 19th, 9:15 AM Apr 19th, 10:30 AM

An Examination of Sexual Assault Resource Programs in West Virginia

An Examination of Sexual Assault Resource Programs in West Virginia

Every 98 seconds, an individual in the United States is sexually assaulted (WV FRIS 2018). This means that one out of every six individuals in our country is the victim of an attempted or completed assault in their lifetime. Rural communities tend to have fewer resources when it comes to victims of sexual assault, and this type of victimization is often underreported in these communities. Specifically, in 2015 an estimated 19% of rape and sexual assault victimizations were reported to the police in urban areas, compared to an estimated 2% in rural areas (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015). Underreporting in rural communities may be due to factors such as lack of familiarity, isolation, social climates that foster informal authority, mistrust of government, and an inclination to conceal internal and personal problems (Ruback & Menard 2001). The goal of the present research is to investigate sexual resource programs in urban and rural counties in West Virginia to compare the availability of resources for victims of sexual assault. In the end, I hope to be able to examine the effects of available resources on reporting and prosecution rates.