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Violence Vict. 2013;28(2):274-87.

Revictimization and recovery from sexual assault: implications for health professionals.

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  • 1Unit of Social Medicine, The University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Twenty-seven adult females' responses from an online qualitative questionnaire were analyzed to explore their views on being recovered from an experience of sexual assault, and identify aspects of their postassault health service encounters that facilitated or impeded their recovery process. Being recovered involved accepting the experience, being freed from negative states, regaining control and trust, and receiving help from and being believed by others. Participants predominantly reported negative experiences with health services. Factors perceived as impeding the recovery process include health professionals' inexperience in dealing with survivors of sexual assault, adhering to rape myths and stereotypes, and disrespectful or inconsiderate treatment of survivors. We argue that these postassault negative experiences revictimized survivors. Addressing these factors may reduce revictimization, facilitate recovery, and decrease assaulted women's long-term use of health services.

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