Experiences of dehumanizing: Examining secondary victimization within the nurse-patient relationship among African American women survivors of sexual assault in the Upper Midwest

Ashley M. Ruiz, Kaylen M. Moore, Lynne M. Woehrle, Peninnah Kako, Kelly C. Davis, Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite calls recognizing the need for culturally sensitive responses to minimize the occurrence of secondary victimization for African American women following an experience of sexual assault, few studies have focused on hearing from African American women survivors about their experiences receiving healthcare services in a hospital setting following sexual assault. Employing critical ethnography as our methodology and using intersectionality theory as a lens, we centered the voices of African American women survivors about their experiences receiving nursing care in urban acute care or hospital settings in the Upper Midwest of the United States following sexual assault. In this qualitative study, 30 African American women survivors were interviewed using in-depth, semi-structured interviews about their post-sexual assault care. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. An important theme identified focused on survivors’ experiences of dehumanization when receiving healthcare services following sexual assault. These experiences included: discrediting, dismissing, shaming, and blaming. To mitigate and prevent secondary victimization in the future, we present practice and education change recommendations for nurses, and healthcare providers more broadly, based on the voices of African American female survivors of sexual assault.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116029
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume329
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
IAFN This manuscript is affiliated, informed, but not funded by an ongoing R01 (R01MD016388).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • African American women
  • Healthcare
  • Nursing
  • Re-traumatization
  • Secondary victimization
  • Sexual assault
  • Survivors

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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