Many women experience both sexual and domestic violence throughout their lifespan, but do the services of women's shelters and sexual assault centres reflect this reality? Stemming from a joint recommendation, this research project was conducted in partnership by the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Centres and the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 24 service providers representing 19 Alberta women's shelters and sexual assault centres. The purpose of the study was to identify areas in which the needs of clients intersect or where they dictate distinct and specialized service delivery and to make recommendations regarding potential collaboration.
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Currents: New Scholarship in the Human Services
Between 2005 and 2006, 24 senior-level management staff from 19 Sexual Assault Centres and Women's shelter in Alberta, Canada were interviewed about services, client groups, level of collaboration, and perceived benefits and risks of collaboration. Collaboration was defined as efforts involving any form of working together ranging from informal, to the sharing of space and creation of new structures. The majority of participants reported that collaboration was possible and essential. Drawbacks reported included a loss of distinction between each issue resulting in less funding as well as marginalization of male sexual abuse victims. Authors suggested that collaborative treatment models would better serve women who experience both forms of violence.
rape crisis centers, victim services