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ERIC Number: EJ950746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
Silent Survivors: Rape Myth Acceptance in Incarcerated Women's Narratives of Disclosure and Reporting of Rape
Heath, Nicole M.; Lynch, Shannon M.; Fritch, April M.; McArthur, Lyn N.; Smith, Shilo L.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v35 n4 p596-610 Dec 2011
Prior research suggests that rape victims who do not disclose or report to the police give reasons including self-blame and fear of judgment; however, this research has not been conducted with incarcerated women. Female offenders are a unique population because they experience high rates of sexual assault prior to incarceration. This study recruited 74 women at a U.S. state prison, who experienced sexual assault prior to incarceration to explore the associations among rape myth acceptance (RMA), disclosure, and reporting of sexual assaults to the authorities. Participants were asked open-ended questions regarding why they chose to disclose their sexual assaults to others, to report to the police, or to remain silent. Narratives were audiotaped, transcribed, and coded for thematic content. Women's narratives, particularly those of women who indicated that they remained silent, frequently included a variety of rape myths that involved blaming themselves for the rape, fearing not being believed, believing that familiar perpetrators cannot be rapists, and questioning whether the event was really a rape. Women often described such rape myth beliefs with greater frequency than discussing situational characteristics of the rape as reasons for nonreporting. Implications for these findings in clinical, research, and social justice contexts are discussed. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A