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Janet Yassen

Janet Yassen helped build the first rape crisis center in Massachusetts and went on to become an international consultant on preventing rape and sexual violence. Arriving in Boston in 1972 with a history of activism in civil rights and the women’s movement, Yassen joined the newly formed Rape Crisis Center group and helped open the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center the following year. The group created important models for clinical practice, support groups, and social policy on rape and violence against women. Yassen then pursued a degree in social work through Boston University and created a women’s studies course there that became a regular part of the social work curriculum. Over time, Yassen shifted her focus from sexual violence response to prevention, working with both victims and perpetrators to better understand the context and causes of sexual violence. In 1986, she began working at the Victims of Violence program at Cambridge Hospital, where she served as Crisis Services Coordinator. She has also served as an international consultant in places such as Israel, the former Yugoslavia, Belfast, Japan, Canada, and the Hague.

Janet Yassen was honored at the 2003 Women Who Dared event in Boston.

1 Comment

Janet hi:

I was wanting to inquire if you might be doing 2 kinds of groups:

1.  A group for therapists to provide support and teach intervention skills

2.  A group for unmothered women

Thanks!   Rebecca Hecht, LICSW  Lincoln, MA

Janet Yassen, January 15, 2003
Full image
Janet Yassen, January 15, 2003.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Janet Yassen." (Viewed on December 9, 2018) <>.


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