Reviews

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

The title is deceptive for a UK audience and, as a former forensic nurse, I expected I would be able to draw parallels with UK practice. However, forensic nursing appears to be a very different profession in the United States

The title is deceptive for a UK audience and, as a former forensic nurse, I expected I would be able to draw parallels with UK practice. However, forensic nursing appears to be a very different profession in the United States.

Nevertheless, the book, which looks at the way nurses treat and collect evidence from people who have been sexually assaulted, made me see forensic nursing from a victim’s perspective and I found the case studies, quotes and other narratives very poignant.

Forensic nursing in the UK focuses on offenders with mental disorders and we rarely hear the voice of the victim, but this book enabled me to reflect on my years of work and think about the people who were missing from the jigsaw that I have been part of.

Some sections of the book felt repetitive as stories were retold and analysed in different ways. Perhaps the author should have dedicated each chapter to an individual case study enabling in-depth analysis of that person’s experiences.

It is these human stories that could draw in audiences from outside health care so perhaps the title could have been more inviting to non-clinicians.

The author’s own reflections were good although at times she drifted into a more academic approach that did not always seem to fit. Perhaps case studies followed by an academic analysis would have been useful. Further research to follow up how these women achieved survivorship would teach us a lot about the consequences of rape and the outcomes of early forensic intervention.

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