A case study of the Dublin and Galway Rape Crisis Centres: the therapists perspective
Ryan-Larragy, Elizabeth (1997) A case study of the Dublin and Galway Rape Crisis Centres: the therapists perspective. Master of Arts thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis examines the historical development and current therapeutic practices of two of Ireland’s feminist-inspired rape crisis centres (Dublin and Galway).
The focus is on the perspective of workers in these centres, whether as volunteers or paid employees. A number of spokes persons and workers in each centre were interviewed over a 15 month period. These interviews form the bulk of the primary data and are used throughout. Interviewees were questioned on a range of policies operating at the centres: recruitment, selection, training and legal issues.
Although at the outset the case study was not designed to allow comparisons to be drawn between the two centres concerned, major differences in policy and approach between the Dublin and Galway Rape Crisis Centres lead to inevitable comparison. Indeed, these differences inspired many of the conclusions of the study.
Where as one centre continues to operate according to the feminist analysis which first inspired rape crisis centres in the West, the other has adopted a hierarchical management structure with severely curtailed opportunities for volunteer input. While superficially using a similar therapeutic model, the two centres in fact operate from radically opposed premises. This thesis argues that the loss of a feminist perspective on rape reduces the long-term effectiveness of rape crisis centres since without such a perspective, the conditions giving rise to rape are not addressed. Instead the symptoms of rape are “managed” by “professional experts”.
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