Women who have Experienced Rape: Responses from others, Internalization and Recovery
Negative reactions upon disclosure of rape have been found to have negative effects on recovery. This study focuses on how social pre-conceptions of raped women are conveyed upon disclosure. A special focus was on how pre-conceptions are conveyed in encounters with police and legal representatives. Ten semi-structured interviews were analysed, using abductive thematic analysis. Results show that professionals were perceived to convey an image of the raped women as unimportant, questionable and to blame. Informants struggled to understand themselves, not wanting to be a burden, and wishing for some kind of justice. In encounters with raped women, professionals’ must be aware of her sexual trauma and the potential trauma from previous experiences of not being listened to, being questioned and blamed.