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Res Nurs Health. 2009 Aug;32(4):366-78. doi: 10.1002/nur.20333.

The essence of healing from sexual violence: a qualitative metasynthesis.

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  • 1Kent State University, Henderson Hall, Kent, OH 44242-0001, USA.


A qualitative metasynthesis was conducted to identify the essence of healing from sexual violence, as described by adults who experienced it as children or as adults. Based on the findings of 51 reports, four domains of healing were identified: (a) managing memories, (b) relating to important others, (c) seeking safety, and (c) reevaluating self. The ways of healing within each domain reflected opposing responses. The dialectical process identified for each of the four domains include, respectively: (a) calling forth memories, (b) regulating relationships with others, (c) constructing an "as-safe-as-possible" lifeworld, and (d) restoring a sense of self. These complex processes resulted in a new reality for the participants that was based on a greater sense of agency and provided a more satisfying life course.

Copyright 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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