Section 2: Understanding Sexual Assault from a Victim’s Perspective
4 Hours, 40 Minutes

(5 minutes)

What is the Impact of Sexual Assault on Secondary Victims?
(5 minutes)

A sexual assault may have a significant impact on other family members of the incest perpetrator and incest victim. Like the ripples created by our supervision decisions in intra–familial abuse cases, sexual assault itself can have far reaching effects. At the center is the person who was sexually assaulted, and the ripples—like the ripples created when a rock is thrown into a pond—represent the many people who may experience harm by knowing or caring for that person. These individuals include immediate family members, friends, relatives, acquaintances, and members of the community. Family members of offenders in non–incest cases are another category of individuals with whom you are likely to come into contact, and who may have difficulty dealing with the situation and their own reactions to it. The offender’s family may know the victim, and may be significantly affected by the experience of disclosure, criminal justice involvement, community stigma, and more.

Use SlideUse Slide #26: Secondary Impacts of Sexual Assault

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The following is information about the secondary impact of sexual assault and issues to consider:

You are likely to have substantial contact with individuals experiencing secondary impact from sexual assault in the course of your work with sex offenders, especially during interactions with a child victim. Recognizing the phenomenon and being prepared to validate the experience of these individuals, providing referrals as appropriate, and anticipating some of the same issues that you might face in working with the primary victims, will enhance your ability to work effectively with these individuals.

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