Feasibility & Desirability study of Sexual Assault Reference Centres in the Province of Eastern Flanders

This small scale study aimed at assessing the desirability and feasibility of applying  ‘sexual assault reference centres’ among the hospitals in the Province of Eastern Flanders that dispose of an emergency care unit and the possibility to conduct medical forensic activities. All 14 hospitals that match those inclusion criteria were invited to participate in the study.

The study composed of 2 parts. First, by means of a survey, we assessed what the current approach is towards management of victims of sexual violence in each of the hospitals. Second, we conducted phone interviews with key experts from 6 crucial services in the approach of sexual violence, being: emergencies, gynaecology, social services, paediatrics, urology and psychiatry. In those interviews, we evaluated their knowledge and attitude towards violence; we inquired on their evaluation of the current approaches in their hospital, as well as their appreciation of the model of ‘sexual assault reference centres’, its feasibility and the role of their own hospital if this model would be applied in Belgium.  

Based on the analysis of results, a report was written containing several recommendations regarding the application of this model at the level of the Province of Eastern Flanders as well as on Belgian level. The report was communicated to the authorities of those different political levels and shortly presented at the Belgian senate. More oral and written dissemination to different stakeholders is foreseen for 2015.

Funding agencies

Province of Eastern Flanders- IGVM


ICRH Belgium


June 01, 2014 - December 10, 2014

Project status

Project closed

Team members

Ms. Ines Keygnaert




Interpersonal violence