Study Finds Men and Women Victims Use Sexual Assault Hotlines for Different Purposes

UGA-University-of-Georgia-1785-seal-variantA new study by researchers at the University of Georgia finds that men and women who access sexual assault telephone hotlines use these services differently. The research found that women victims of sexual assault were more likely to be seeking advice on accessing specific resources such as abortion services, legal services, and for how to determine if they were given drugs.

On the other hand, men who called sexual assault hotlines were more likely to use the services to vent their anger or tell their particular story to the counselor. Men tended not to use the hotline to seek resources and were more likely to hang up or disconnect from the hotline without receiving any information on where they should go for additional help. Stephen Young, a graduate student  in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia and a co-author of the study, said that “female callers had less confusion about whether they were victims and more specific questions about resources.”

hotlinesJana Pruett, an instructor in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia and a co-author of the study, stated that “it seems as though hotline workers could be better equipped with an understanding of themes we found amongst male callers, such as frequent hang-ups, fear of being judged, and questions about what constitutes assault. This could give them a chance to normalize these feelings and behaviors for male caller, thus building the rapport that is so critical to helping someone access additional resources.”

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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  1. Jaconda says:

    Interesting study. I would like to know the distribution of male and female callers. I also wonder if the confusion expressed by males correlate with a lack of understanding of assault/rape when males rape females. It was both surprising and troubling to me in the high profile campus assault and rape cases that have gone to trial that several of the males said that they did not see the behavior that they or their colleagues, team-mates and/or friends had engaged in as wrong, unlawful, non-consensual, violent, or rape. JW

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