Sexual violence, coping, and empowerment among Latina sexual assault survivors
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Rates of sexual violence are as high as approximately 1 in 3 (34.8%) for Latina women (Basile et al., 2015) and little information is known regarding coping strategies Latina survivors utilize post sexual assault. A qualitative case study approach was utilized to explore the relationships between sexual assault, coping, and resiliency and the impact these have on Latina survivors’ sense of empowerment. The results of this study found that Latina women utilized adaptive coping skills that were significantly influenced by their culture as well as their ethnic and gender identity. Participants also developed a strong sense of empowerment by providing service to other survivors through multiple forms of advocacy and by finding meaning or a higher calling within their sexual assault experience. Participants also described empowerment as having emerged from identifying their recovery as a journey and through empathic views and feelings towards themselves and others. Overall, the results of this study showed that the intersection of culture, ethnicity, and gender permeated through all facets of their recovery and sense of empowerment. This study also provides implications for future research and practice in the psychological field with regard to working with and supporting Latina sexual assault survivors.
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