Disclosure and Help-Seeking after Sexual Violence: Giving Voice to the Experiences of African and Caribbean Women

Prof Doc Thesis

Mintah, R. 2022. Disclosure and Help-Seeking after Sexual Violence: Giving Voice to the Experiences of African and Caribbean Women. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v278
AuthorsMintah, R.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There is little theoretical and empirical exploration of Black African and Caribbean women’s experiences of sexual violence in the UK. Subsequently, less is known about their post-sexual violence disclosure and help-seeking experiences. Therefore, this thesis aimed to explore factors that might influence Black women’s decision to disclose or seek help after sexual violence and their experiences of doing so.
Black feminists have long argued for the necessity to examine the lives of Black women through an intersectional lens, considering how their unique location within society shapes their lived experiences. Therefore, utilising a Black feminist framework, this study interviewed 12 African and Caribbean heritage women using semi-structured interviews.
A thematic analysis identified three broad themes: ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Speaking the Unspeakable,’ and ‘Needing a Safe Space to Feel Heard.’ The themes revealed that for African and Caribbean heritage women, decision-making around disclosure and the experience of doing so is complex, often contoured by broader sociocultural discourses. Furthermore, these themes highlighted that to support Black survivors of sexual violence adequately, more consideration needs to be given to their diverse cultural contexts and intersectional location within British society.
The findings from this study are used to inform implications for how clinical professionals, researchers, and policymakers.

KeywordsAfrica and Caribbean women; Sexual violence, ; disclosure; help-seeking; social support; Black feminism; intersectionality
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v278
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Publication dates
Online18 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
Submitted21 Mar 2022
Deposited18 Oct 2022
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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