The Whole Place Self: reflecting on the original working practices of Rape Crisis

Author: F. Vera-Gray1
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  • 1 Durham University, UK
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Critiques of the trauma model for understanding the harms of sexual violence raise some important questions about the radical roots of Rape Crisis Centres in the UK and their relationship to the services offered, and funded, today. Drawing from a research conversation with three women from the national umbrella group Rape Crisis England and Wales, this article finds that in contrast to the depoliticised and individualised discourse of trauma, the original ethos of Rape Crisis in England sought to recognise the harms of rape across four interlocking dimensions: personal, cultural, social and structural. This approach demonstrates an understanding of the self as relational, situated and intersectional, aligning with recent philosophical work on sexual violence and suggesting the importance of key working practices that are in tension with the counselling model that currently dominates provision.

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