Subject Area



Deaf women experience sexual assault at a significantly higher rate than the general hearing population, but the research is scarce on Deaf women’s disclosure patterns — the act of telling someone about a personal experience of sexual assault. This phenomenological study explored the disclosure experiences of three female Deaf survivors. The survivors reported themes of power dynamics, revictimization, helpful versus hurtful reactions, met versus unmet expectations, and Deaf community issues. All survivors experienced post-disclosure resiliency and growth, despite having experienced wounding social reactions. These results are discussed in relation to potential service provision for survivors and support providers.

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