Rape Crisis Centers

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RAPE CRISIS CENTERS first appeared in 1972, when the first center opened in Washington, D.C. They originated in the commitment of second-wave feminists' (those whose views predominated during the 1960s and 1970s) "personal politics," which redefined as public issues the problems individual women experienced. Rape crisis centers, like women's health clinics and battered women's shelters, were designed to empower and serve women. Personnel at the centers counsel women who have been raped, provide information about medical and legal procedures, and act as advocates in hospitals, police stations, and courtrooms. At first, rape crisis centers were erratically funded and staffed by community volunteers. By the 1990s many centers were run by universities or local governments and employed professional counselors.


Calhoun, Karen S. Treatment of Rape Victims: Facilitating Psycho-social Adjustment. New York: Pergamon Press, 1991.

AmyFried/d. b.

See alsoSexual Harassment ; Social Work ; Violence Against Women Act ; Women's Health ; Women's Rights Movement: The 20th Century .