Jessica Shaw and Rebecca Campbell

In the 1970s, the anti-rape movement emerged with two key foundations: (1) violence against women is used for the social control of women; and (2) women can help one another with the transformation from victim to survi-vor.1 Consequently, rape crisis centers (RCCs) were born. This chapter will review the environmental, political, and social factors that culminated in the creation of RCCs and their successive development, the services currently offered by most RCCs, and their effectiveness and impact on communities. To do this, the chapter is divided into six sections. The first section will review the history of the anti-rape movement and its role in the creation of RCCs. Additionally, we will briefly explore how RCCs have changed over the years as their surrounding environments changed. The second section will present the different services offered by RCCs and how these organizations partner with other systems to provide comprehensive services to survivors, their families, and their communities. The third and fourth sections of the chapter will provide an in-depth examination at two specific services, counseling and medical advocacy, and their effectiveness and impact on those served and partnering agencies. (For more in-depth reviews of legal advocacy, see Campbell, 2006,2 and Campbell, Dworkin, & Cabral, 20093). Finally, the last two sections of the chapter discuss the future of RCCs as we move forward and reviews next steps survivors can take to access RCC services.

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