Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Cultural and Socio-Political Influences on the Post-rape Decisions and Behaviors of Undocumented Immigrant Women of Mexican-Origin
by Acosta, Lauren Anne, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2019, 223; 27666274
Abstract (Summary)

Millions of undocumented immigrant women of Mexican-origin (UIWM) currently reside in the U.S. (American Immigration Council, 2014), with the majority living in border states (Massey, Rugh, & Pren, 2010). National data suggest that thousands of these women will experience a rape during their time in this country (Black et al., 2011). Their marginalized status makes them uniquely vulnerable to rape sequelae (Bryant-Davis, Chung, Tillman, & Belcourt, 2009), yet few studies have focused on the needs of this unique group of rape survivors.

This study used a critical ethnographic approach to explore the cultural and socio-political influences on the post-rape decision-making processes and behaviors (i.e. discloser and help-seeking) of UIWM that experienced a rape in the U.S. border region. Thirteen key informants, including six UIWM that survived rape and seven stakeholders (individuals with knowledge of, or contact with, UIWM that have survived rape) participated in interviews; survivors also participated in a PhotoVoice activity.

Data were analyzed according to Carspecken’s (1996) guidelines for critical qualitative research and incorporated photographic analysis. Three domains were revealed: Helping Survivors, Barrier After Barrier, and Overcoming, which were united by the overarching theme Struggling to Heal. Findings were plotted on an adapted matrix of oppression and organized into an illustrative diagram. Findings suggest that although help is available for survivors, for UIWM healing is a constant struggle against cultural, social, and political barriers that make moving forward difficult. These findings fill a gap in current literature and will allow rape crisis centers and other organizations to garner a better understanding of the specific needs of UIWM following rape.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McEwen, Marylyn M.
Commitee: Kahn-John, Michelle, Phillips, Linda R.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Nursing
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Public health, Womens studies
Keywords: Disclosure, Help-seeking, Immigrant, Mexican, Rape, Undocumented
Publication Number: 27666274
ISBN: 9781392366868
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