Frightened in Isolation: Unique Considerations for Research of Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence in Rural Areas

Jennifer B. Averill; Ann O. Padilla; Paul T. Clements


J Foren Nurs. 2007;3(1):42-46. 

In This Article


One of the least understood topics in forensic science is the unique nature of the factors and facets of sexual assault and interpersonal violence in rural areas. Rural life, sometimes considered by urban dwellers to be an isolated and pastoral haven from urban and suburban chaos, surprises many by presenting a reality that proves dangerous and often deadly. This fact highlights the need to develop intervention strategies at all levels of prevention. Confounding this foundational need, however, is the paucity of specific research on violence, particularly sexual assault in rural settings, as most studies have primarily focused on efforts to understand urban patterns of crime (Annan, 2006; Berg & DeLisi, 2005; Thurston, Patten & Lagendyk, 2006; Weinert, Lotts, & Winters, 2004; Wells & Weisheit, 2004).


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