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Women had an inherent sense of knowing how to manage their lives after sexual assault by men they knew

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QUESTION: What is the meaning of sexual violence in the lives of women who have been sexually assaulted by men they knew well?

Design

Heideggerian hermeneutics.

Setting

Northwestern Ohio, USA.

Participants

10 women >18 years of age (age range 19-57 y, 8 white, 2 African-American) who had been sexually assaulted as adults by men they knew well were recruited by public announcements. 7 of the women had experienced childhood abuse or neglect, and many had several abusive relationships as adults.

Methods

1–3 hour interviews were held with each woman and began with open ended questions about the meaning of the experience of sexual violence and how it affected their day to day lives. The author and another psychiatric nurse independently reviewed the interview transcripts, prepared written interpretations, and discussed and compared the interpretations. A qualitative research group also reviewed selected transcripts and commented on the emerging themes. 5 …

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