This chapter provides an overview of the present study, describing the study design and explaining why a comparative case study approach was selected that focuses on advocates at local rape crisis centers (RCCs). For the purposes of the study, RCCs are defined as non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations that are recognized by state-level bureaucracies as the local organization responsible for providing crisis intervention services within a defined geographic area. The states included were Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Washington. These were selected based on several criteria, including geographic diversity, political climate, features of the state coalition (relative strength/weakness, dual or single issue), and legislative outcomes in the policy areas being examined. Once states were selected, all rape care programs in the state were identified and contacted, first by letter and then with a follow-up phone call, to describe the study and request their participation. The study includes interviews with 167 rape care advocates from 112 RCCs in these six states.
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