Evaluation of the Crime Reduction Programme Violence Against Women Rape Projects, and a Linked National Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres

January 1, 2000

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Three Linked Components:

  1. Evaluation of STAR (Surviving Trauma After Rape) Youth Service Intervention;
  2. Evaluation of REACH (Rape, Examination, Advice, Counselling and Help) Website Intervention;
  3. National Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres/Services (SARCs) including St Mary’s, REACH and STAR.

Component 1 – The STAR Youth Service Intervention:

This evaluation is focused on assessing the extent to which West Yorkshire-based STAR’s Youth Service Intervention, a counselling, support, information and tracking service for 13-16 year old rape survivors, fulfils its own aims within the framework of the Crime Reduction Programme. It comprises a Process Evaluation, an Outcome Evaluation and a Cost Effectiveness Analysis. A multi-methodological approach is being used, which includes the following:

  • the implementation of a project database;
  • case tracking;
  • audit of forensic medical reports;
  • questionnaires and interviews with service users, to be completed by hand or over the phone;
  • questionnaires and interviews with staff, including police surgeons, volunteers and sessional counsellors;
  • interviews with key informants, including police officers and CPS prosecutors;
  • local statistics on reported rapes and case outcomes;
  • analysis of project documentation.

Component 2 – The REACH Service Website Intervention:

This evaluation is focused on REACH, a Northumbria-based service providing forensic examinations, advice and counselling for adult rape survivors. It assesses the extent to which REACH’s Website Intervention fulfils its own aims within the framework of the Crime Reduction Programme. A multi-methodological approach is being used, which includes the following:

  • a review of documentation and community interviews in order to describe and analyse the project area;
  • interviews with project staff, observation of the project in action and a review of documentation to order to analyse the project’s implementation;
  • analysis of quality/accessibility of the website, how it is marketed and its use;
  • analysis of inputs and costs and outputs and benefits.

Component 3 – National Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres

This is an evaluation of the contribution of Sexual Assault Referral Centres/Services (SARCs) to responses to reported rape (reported either to the police or to SARCs only). Three long-standing SARCs – STAR, REACH and St Mary’s – are the subject of this national evaluation, which can usefully build on the evaluation of their individual interventions (as detailed above). To fully assess their contribution, a comparison is being made between those reporting rape to SARCs and those reporting to the police where there is no SARC available or where the exact model of service differs. A multi-methodological approach is being adopted in order to address the following key questions:

  • do St Mary’s, STAR and REACH deliver a speedy and effective service to victims of rape that treats them with dignity and respect?
  • is there a consistent standard of evidence gathering and forensic reports?
  • is co-ordination between agencies in these areas enhanced?
  • does the provision of counselling encourage take-up of follow-up support in the aftermath of sexual assault?
  • do these services increase reporting and reduce attrition?
  • do they cater for the needs of victims/survivors?
  • how do these different models of SARCs operate?
  • is there a significant difference between responses to victims/survivors in these areas compared to an area with no such service?

See Research Report: Sexual Assault Referral Centres: developing good practice and maximising potentials

See also the Home Office online research report by Skinner, T. & Taylor, H. (2004) Providing counselling, support and information to survivors of rape: an evaluation of the STAR’ Young Persons’ Project, available from the Home Office website.

Grant Holder: CWASU with The Gender and Violence Research Unit, University of Leicester

Sponsor: The Home Office Crime Reduction Programme

  • Project Team:
    Jo Lovett, Linda Regan, Liz Kelly