Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 81-97

First online:

Multicultural perspectives on counseling survivors of rape

  • Clare G. HolzmanAffiliated with

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The dominant Euro-American culture is a rape-prone culture, as defined by Sanday. Within that culture, rape is both a tool and a consequence of interlocking systems of oppression based on race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. The impact of rape on an individual survivor can only be fully understood in the context of the survivor's own culture, religious beliefs, and experience as an immigrant or refugee. Issues of race, culture, class, and sexual orientation influence every step in the counseling of a rape survivor. Knowledge about the client's culture is essential if accurate assessment and culturally appropriate service are to be provided. Specific examples of the impact of these issues are presented. Ways in which the cultural values implicit in the crisis counseling model may conflict with the client's values and needs are examined.

Key words

rape counseling rape survivors multicultural counseling