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Position Statements

PCAR advocates for changes in federal and state legislation to further our goal of ending sexual violence in our communities. This includes drafting, reviewing and lobbying for legislation and policy that provides funding for services for victims of sexual violence and child sexual abuse and encouraging a change in the way communities aid survivors and victims and those that serve them.

Positions on public policy issues listed below are the official position statements of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

Philosophy of Confidentiality

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape believes in protecting the integrity of the counseling relationship between the sexual assault counselor and the sexual violence victim. The privilege between client and counselor must be absolute, except in those circumstances mandated by law. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Emergency Contraception Options for Victims/Survivors of Rape, Incest, or any Sexual Assault

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape believes that victims have the right to be informed of and have access to all medical options, including those that minimize the risk of pregnancy as a result of sexual assault, rape, or incest. The option of emergency contraception must be addressed with each patient that is at risk for pregnancy. The personal beliefs of a health care provider should not interfere with the client’s right to self-determination. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Pregnancy Options for Victims/Survivors of Rape, Incest or any Sexual Assault

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape believes that when a woman, adolescent or child becomes pregnant as the result of rape, incest or any sexual assault, the full range of medical and treatment options must be presented. Options counseling is guided by the wants and needs of the victim/survivor. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Expert Testimony in Sexual Assault Cases

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape supports the admissibility of expert witness testimony for both the defense and prosecution in sexual assault cases. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Polygraph/Lie Detector Testing of Victims/Survivors

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape opposes all polygraph testing or use of other truth-telling devices of victims of sexual assault, the victim’s non-offending family members or significant others. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Testing of Sex Offenders

PCAR advocates for a victim’s /survivor’s right to make an informed request for any relevant testing of an offender and for that request to be honored. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Trafficking/Sexual Exploitation

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape encourages and supports society’s acceptance of the responsibility to protect all people from being sexually exploited/trafficked; prohibits any conduct or material which causes or threatens psychological, emotional or physical harm as a result of sexual exploitation/trafficking; and prevents any person from benefiting, financially or otherwise from sexually exploiting/trafficking others. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Traumatic Memory

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape acknowledges the uniqueness of traumatic memory. PCAR advocates for a victim/survivor’s right to services which support healing from traumatic experiences and for their right to seek and obtain services from mental health professionals whose practices conform to nationally recognized standards of care as set forth by professional associations and state licensing boards.

PCAR supports comprehensive human service curricula addressing the process of healing and the effects of sexual trauma on individuals and societies. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Victim Privacy—Courtroom/Media/Social Media

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is opposed to public televising of courtroom trials through all forms of media/social media. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.

Victims’ Right to Privacy

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape opposes the release of any information that can be used to infer the identity of a person who is the victim of a sexual assault, without the express written consent of the individual. To learn more about PCAR’s position, review our full statement in PDF or plain text.