Our world is immersed in violence. Sexual assault is one of many forms of violence that affects the general health and wellbeing of the public. Sexual assault is a prevalent social and human rights issue. According to recent statistics an American is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. There is an average of 293,000 victims of sexual assault each year age 12 or older. (Rape, Abuse, and Incest, National Network, 2009). As prevailing as the issue of sexual assault is, it allows one to question the efficiency of services provided for its victims.
Health care providers and social work students alike have been recently studied to see if they felt adequately prepared to work and aid sexual assault victims. Studies have shown that over 55% of social work students have little or no academic preparation for working with survivors and have a lack of understanding of how to use interventions, such as safety planning or legal options, that are needed by many survivors (Warrener, Postmus & McMahon, 2013). An issue of race and providing services has also come into question. Studies have demonstrated in comparison to their Caucasian counterparts, African American women reported decreased use of sexual assault crisis centers, mental health services, and post assault help-seeking through use of sexual assault hotlines (Weist, Kinney, Taylor, Pollitt-Hill, Bryant, Anthony & Wilkerson, 2014).
This presentation will further discuss services provided for sexual assault victims in both the American and Russian federation. It will investigate intersectionality of race, gender, culture, age, and preparation of services. Observations and reflections will be conducted from a service learning study abroad trip to Russia focusing on international social work related to sexual assault services.