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Annotated Bibliography: Response Rates for Surveys of Sexual Assault Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2021

This annotated bibliography contains and maintains an ongoing collection of research on the typical survey response rates for sexual assault victim service client satisfaction surveys and similar surveys, and discusses how anonymous versus confidential surveys may impact response rates.


Obtaining feedback from victims regarding the services they receive is essential for refining and improving service delivery and ensuring that services are victim-centered and meet victims’ needs; however, recruiting victims to obtain their feedback for service evaluation is labor intensive and often difficult. Sexual assault victims are considered a “hard to find” or “hard to reach” research population, due partly to the sensitive and traumatic nature of their victimization experiences. One set of annotated listings pertains to response rates for surveys that assess medical and advocacy services for sexual assault victims. In the United States, sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs provide comprehensive medical and emotional support to survivors of sexual assault. This may include sexual assault medical forensic exams. Such programs often coordinate with local community-based victim advocacy services. Several evaluations of SANE programs have included survey data collected from victims who have received these services. Research studies that sought to engage sexual assault victims for surveys are also included. (four listings). In addition, there are listings that address issues in confidential versus anonymous surveys. (two annotated listings and 11 listings without annotations).   

Date Published: March 17, 2021