Minimising trauma in staff at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre: what and who is needed?

Horvath, Miranda, Massey, Kristina, Essafi, Shanaz and Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya (2020) Minimising trauma in staff at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre: what and who is needed? Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 74 (102029). ISSN 1752-928X

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Abstract

Introduction
This study investigates staff's perspectives on the characteristics required to work in a sexual assault referral centre and the support and training they believe sexual assault referral centres should provide to minimise the negative impacts of the work and provide a supportive working environment.

Methods
Semi- structured interviews were conducted with 12 staff, and a focus group was held with a further four staff of a sexual assault referral centre. The data were examined using thematic analysis.

Results
Findings indicated that to work in a in sexual assault referral centre staff need to be understanding, empathetic, non-judgemental, supportive, flexible and resilient as well as having coping skills. The support structures and processes staff reported as being essential to creating a supportive working environment and reducing vicarious trauma were: supervision; training; peer support and shadowing.

Conclusions
Working in a SARC is stressful and emotionally difficult work. This study provides valuable insights about the individual and environmental factors SARC staff believe are required to have a happy and healthy workforce delivering a gold standard of care to victim-survivors of sexual violence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: vicarious trauma, medical professionals, resilience, sexual assault referral centre, coping, workplace
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 11:12
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 11:12
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2079

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