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The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention

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Winner, 2017 Margaret Mead Award presented by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology Honorable Mention, 2015 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of part Winner, 2017 Margaret Mead Award presented by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology Honorable Mention, 2015 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of participatory research in a Baltimore emergency room, Sameena Mulla reveals the realities of sexual assault response in the forensic age. Taking an approach developed at the intersection of medical and legal anthropology, she analyzes the ways in which nurses work to collect and preserve evidence while addressing the needs of sexual assault victims as patients. Mulla argues that blending the work of care and forensic investigation into a single intervention shapes how victims of violence understand their own suffering, recovery, and access to justice--in short, what it means to be a "victim." As nurses race the clock to preserve biological evidence, institutional practices, technologies, and even state requirements for documentation undermine the way in which they are able to offer psychological and physical care. Yet most of the evidence they collect never reaches the courtroom and does little to increase the number of guilty verdicts. Mulla illustrates the violence of care with painstaking detail, illuminating why victims continue to experience what many call "secondary rape" during forensic intervention, even as forensic nursing is increasingly professionalized. Re-victimization can occur even at the hands of conscientious nurses, simply because they are governed by institutional requirements that shape their practices. The Violence of Care challenges the uncritical adoption of forensic practice in sexual assault intervention and post-rape care, showing how forensic intervention profoundly impacts the experiences of violence, justice, healing and recovery for victims of rape and sexual assault.


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Winner, 2017 Margaret Mead Award presented by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology Honorable Mention, 2015 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of part Winner, 2017 Margaret Mead Award presented by the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology Honorable Mention, 2015 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology Every year in the U.S., thousands of women and hundreds of men participate in sexual assault forensic examinations. Drawing on four years of participatory research in a Baltimore emergency room, Sameena Mulla reveals the realities of sexual assault response in the forensic age. Taking an approach developed at the intersection of medical and legal anthropology, she analyzes the ways in which nurses work to collect and preserve evidence while addressing the needs of sexual assault victims as patients. Mulla argues that blending the work of care and forensic investigation into a single intervention shapes how victims of violence understand their own suffering, recovery, and access to justice--in short, what it means to be a "victim." As nurses race the clock to preserve biological evidence, institutional practices, technologies, and even state requirements for documentation undermine the way in which they are able to offer psychological and physical care. Yet most of the evidence they collect never reaches the courtroom and does little to increase the number of guilty verdicts. Mulla illustrates the violence of care with painstaking detail, illuminating why victims continue to experience what many call "secondary rape" during forensic intervention, even as forensic nursing is increasingly professionalized. Re-victimization can occur even at the hands of conscientious nurses, simply because they are governed by institutional requirements that shape their practices. The Violence of Care challenges the uncritical adoption of forensic practice in sexual assault intervention and post-rape care, showing how forensic intervention profoundly impacts the experiences of violence, justice, healing and recovery for victims of rape and sexual assault.

30 review for The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I actually really enjoyed this book. But I have to admit that I was a little intimidated when I opened it and was immediately thrown into statistics. There was a lot of academic jargon, which I am by no means saying wasn't important. It was needed to help tell the story of what was going on, but it was a little wordy and a little intimidating. But I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea what sexual assault survivors went through when getting a rape kit done. All in all, this was a great read a I actually really enjoyed this book. But I have to admit that I was a little intimidated when I opened it and was immediately thrown into statistics. There was a lot of academic jargon, which I am by no means saying wasn't important. It was needed to help tell the story of what was going on, but it was a little wordy and a little intimidating. But I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea what sexual assault survivors went through when getting a rape kit done. All in all, this was a great read and I definitely suggest it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Doyle

    This is a must-read for folks thinking about SVSH. Really challenging, thoughtful and teachable. I keep returning to it for grounded wisdom.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sally Kenney

    Some interesting enthnographies and points that tend to get lost in dense academic prose. Mulla is persuasive that SANE nurses are not a feminist panacea but other than abandoning criminal prosecutions at all and serving only to care for victims she offers little into how to provide more justice as well as more care for victims.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mimi Cole

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Might be a good book, but it's very dense. The introduction was so long . . . . I lost interest. Might be a good book, but it's very dense. The introduction was so long . . . . I lost interest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ada

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    Rachel

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    Bahar

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elle Kukla

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna Wagman

  12. 4 out of 5

    molly rose

  13. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka Bill-duda

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruwen Chang

  15. 4 out of 5

    Celina

  16. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Grabowski

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Ritchie

  18. 4 out of 5

    J S

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Thomas

  20. 4 out of 5

    Oriana Garcia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth M

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Barefoot

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bousel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bren

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alix J

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Jane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

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