- 神戸女学院大学論集 (ISSN:03891658)
- vol.55, no.1, pp.77-88, 2008-06
The purpose of this paper is, through showing an overview of the Sexual Assault Services (SAS) conducted in BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre in Canada, to present some implications that will make an effective program for victims of sexual assault in Japan. This paper's author participated in the training program against sexual violence held in Vancouver, Canada, in August 2007. The paper is mainly based on the findings obtained in that program. We Japanese gradually began to recognize the prevalence of sexual assault for these days, but regrettably we don't have any sufficient programs for providing services and social support to victims of sexual assault. I suspect that services providing for the victims have been varied according to the personnel of health care professionals and law enforcement agencies, and such difference may lead to inconsistent response toward the sexual assault cases and victims' emotional trauma. On the contrary, the SAS provides patient-centered, comprehensive health care and support services for sexual assault survivors, and with patients' consent, obtains standardized forensic evidence for legal purposes. The SAS constructs a specially trained team of female nurses, nurse examiners, doctors, and counselors. The team members collaborate with other health care facilities, community support services, and police and prosecutors. Their approach is, so to speak, the women's-centered. They are struggling to maintain their feminist perspective within the social system which is tolerant of sexual violence against women. The feminist approach, in other words, the survivors' centered approach is very suggestive because it has not been paid much attention in Japan before. Professionals that face sexual assault cases such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, counselors, and researchers, should be careful not to be paternalistic and should take survivors' needs first. In this context it is desirable that our society think seriously to introduce a pilot program like the SAS as soon as possible.