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September 16, 1983

Rape Crisis Centers

Author Affiliations

School of Medicine Stony Brook, NY

JAMA. 1983;250(11):1391. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340110015010

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To the Editor.—  Martin et al (1983; 249:501) provide a valuable guide to physician interaction with rape victims; however, they do not sufficiently stress the importance of referring the patient to a rape crisis intervention center. Such centers can provide the resources to help the patient if she decides to press charges against her assailant or if she wants to apply for the financial compensation that is available to victims of violent crimes in many states. Support groups composed of other rape victims are better suited to helping the patient deal with her feelings of isolation and guilt than are friends or family members who have not experienced the trauma of rape. Finally, such centers may give victims an opportunity to participate in working for political and social solutions to the problem of rape and its aftermath; this is useful in combating the victim's sense of powerlessness. Rape crisis centers