Survivor-Oriented Response Design: Planning Domestic Violence and Sexual Trauma Response Services Based on Survivors' Needs

T. Hank Robinson, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Megan S. Stroshine, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Denise C. Herz, California State University, Los Angeles

Though increased attention has been given to domestic violence and sexual assault crimes, the best strategy for organizing community response services remains unclear. The special needs of these crime victims is widely acknowledged, but attempts to organize assistance for the survivors can be marked by turf-battles and disagreement over best practices and desired outcomes.

Following the lead of psychiatrists and mental health professionals familiar with the history of traumatic stress disorder/syndrome and its treatment, we propose a new model to guide community integration: Survivor-Oriented Response Design ("SORD"). SORD places the well-documented recovery needs of trauma victims at the center of response service design. This approach efficiently parses the recovery process into manageable responsibilities for particular agencies and reveals the best appropriate role for community stakeholders to fill.

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Updated 05/20/2006