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Social Worker Pioneer in Caring for Rape Victims

Gail Arbarbanel. Photo by Brandon Wise.

Kudos to the Santa Monica Daily Press in California for this profile of National Association of Social Workers member Gail Arbarbanel, DSW.

Arbarbanel created the Rape Treatment Center in 1974 to help victims of that crime. The public attitude toward rape was different then, with many victims being disbelieved or blamed for being raped. 

Arbarbanel, a former hospital social worker, said she was inspired by a young woman who was raped while walking on the beach in Santa Monica. She had nowhere to go for help and ended up in the emergency room after an attempted suicide.

“I decided that would be the last time there was no place to go,” Abarbanel said. “The Rape Treatment Center started with one victim.”

Social workers often help clients recover from sexual abuse. To learn more ,visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Web page on Family Safety — Your Options: Teens and Rape by clicking here.

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  1. Good morning,
    I apologize in advance if this is not the correct email for me to contact. My name is Amanda Nguyen, I am a junior social work student at Keuka College. I am doing a research project on sexual assault/rape specifically on male victims. I am looking to interview a social worker or someone working directly with the population via phone or email. Please let me know if there is someone I can contact or if there are other center or programs I can be directed to. Thank you.

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