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

Journal article


Horvath, M., Massey, K., Essafi, S. and Majeed-Ariss, R. Minimising trauma in staff at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre: what and who is needed? Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.
AuthorsHorvath, M., Massey, K., Essafi, S. and Majeed-Ariss, R.
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.

KeywordsVicarious trauma; Medical professionals; Resilience; Sexual Assault Referral Centre; Coping; Workplace
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1752-928X
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Jul 2020
Deposited20 Jul 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Restricted
Output statusIn press
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vy80/minimising-trauma-in-staff-at-a-sexual-assault-referral-centre-what-and-who-is-needed

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