The essence of healing from sexual violence: A qualitative metasynthesis

Claire Burke Draucker, Donna S. Martsolf, Ratchneewan Ross, Christina Benson Cook, Andrea Warner Stidham, Prudencia Mweemba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-378
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Healing
  • Qualitative metasynthesis
  • Sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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    Draucker, C. B., Martsolf, D. S., Ross, R., Cook, C. B., Stidham, A. W., & Mweemba, P. (2009). The essence of healing from sexual violence: A qualitative metasynthesis. Research in Nursing and Health, 32(4), 366-378.